A VICTORIAN company “dry cleaning” contaminated plastic destined for landfill has been declared one of the 20 businesses of the future.
Plastic Forests, based in Strathmerton, 250km north of Melbourne, was named one of Westpac’s Businesses of Tomorrow, short-listed from 200 businesses.
It was timed to coincide with Westpac’s 200th anniversary this month.
Plastic Forests has developed a revolutionary dry cleaning process whereby plastic used in agriculture and food industries is cleaned without using water.
Plastic Forests managing director David Hodge said that after years of research the company was commercialising a unique process that extracted contaminated polyolefins or PE plastic films, which are not currently recycled.
They are then turned into film to be used in a range of recycled plastic products.
Plastic Forests, which also has a factory in Sydney’s west, sells recycled products such as underground cable covers, garden edging and resin pellets, all under the Green Mongrel brand.
The underground cable cover is being in the National Broadband Network rollout.
Mr Hodge said, until their innovation, there had been no commercial alternative for this contaminated plastic film, which has typically carried foodstuffs. but to bury it or burn it. Plastic film is difficult to recycle. Globally, only 14% of plastic packaging is recycled.
“Plastic Forests is enabling Australian food manufacturers and agriculture to divert thousands of tonnes of dirty plastic film, used in their production process, away from landfill and into sustainable new products,” Mr Hodge said.
“Our process cleans it without water, a major benefit in a world without enough freshwater.”
He said an investment in a “supersite” in Albury NSW would enable the business to further expand.
“It will allow us to … manufacture additional products, like garbage bags, for our customers, made from their own plastic waste, thus completing the 360° economy.”
Mr Hodge said winning the award recognised his team’s passion for making the world a better place.
The company has shared in grants from the NSW Government worth up to $800,000. Westpac Bank began as the Bank of New South Wales. – David Hodge ,http://www.theswitchreport.com.au/business/plastic-forests-green-mongrel-in-recycling-world