PanelCycle partner with Plastic Forests to manufacture recycled products
Creating a sustainable future is what we all want but the question is, do you know what you can do to make this happen? We caught up with David Hodge from Plastic Forests over teams to get some insight into their manufacturing processes and how companies can play their part in recycling. PanelCycle and Plastic Forests work alongside each other where Plastic Forests repurposes our separated PE & FR core into quality, durable recycled plastic products that can be utilised in construction projects. If you are interested in purchasing recycled plastic products, be sure to check out Plastic Forests.
Manufactured products by Plastic Forests
Plastic Forests manufacturing video & 60 Minutes video on recycling
Q&A with David (Plastic Forests) and Michael (PanelCycle)
- Can you give us a summary of Plastic Forests manufacturing process and how does this differ to traditional plastic manufacturing?
Plastic Forests is a multi-award-winning Australian company, recycling used soft plastics and remanufacturing them into sustainable value-added products.
Plastic Forests was the first company in the world which was able to recycle contaminated soft plastics (PE & PP) on an industrial scale without using water or chemicals. This innovative dry-cleaning technology has taken over 10 years of R&D, working through all the ‘unknown unknowns’ to create this unique process.
- How many Tonnes of plastic waste can your plant repurpose per week?
Plastic Forests has the largest built reprocessing capacity for soft plastics in Australia, with a capacity of 8000 tonnes pa (155 tonnes/week approx). Each year in Australia, over 500,000 tonnes of soft plastics are land-filled, burned, or buried by industry, agriculture, and households, so the scale of the problem is enormous.
- What is the biggest challenge Plastic Forests face with your business model?
The biggest challenge Plastic Forests’ faces with our business model is to expand and develop end markets for our recycled products among industry, businesses, agriculture, and government. Our business is currently constrained by product sales, not by our recycling production capacity as we can only accept the volume of used soft plastic for recycling that we can sell as finished products.
- In your opinion, is there enough recycled products going back into to new construction projects considering the waste that these projects are responsible for?
Currently there are not enough recycled products going back into new construction projects, particularly considering the volume of waste that these projects are responsible before.
There needs to be a realisation that recycling isn’t just what you do with a material when you’ve finished using it, it is about whether you actually support the circular economy by purchasing back recycled products made from this waste material – the two go hand in hand. It is disappointing that too often poor quality imported, or virgin products are purchased over sustainable Australian-made products for the sake of a few dollars, with huge consequences for the success of the recycling / remanufacturing industry in Australia.
- What products do you manufacture that can go back into new and existing buildings?
Our wheel stops, air conditioning mounting blocks and bollards are quality recycled products that are ideal for new and existing buildings. All our products are long lasting, tough and fit for purpose. Our wheel stops and bollards feature a unique, thermally bonded safety strip that will never peel off, and our mounting blocks have the highest load rating in the industry. We aim to exceed industry expectations by manufacturing recycled plastic products that are innovative, high quality and great value.
- What products are you currently manufacturing from PanelCycle’s separated PE & FR core?
PanelCycle’s separated PE & FR core is used in the manufacture of most of our recycled products including wheel stops, air con mounting blocks, bollards, garden edging, underground cable cover, fence posts and garden beds. We currently have a large range of over 200 product variants, with many more innovative recycled products under development.