Innovative recycling operation Plastic Forests has a new product, now producing plastic fence posts made from used silage film, with the first 500 posts being shipped off to fire-damaged farms in Tumbarumba NSW.

The steel-reinforced recycled plastic fence posts are part of a new programme that has seen the company partner with REDcycle and Coles, with the supermarket giant providing a $300,000 grant to Plastic Forests to upgrade its equipment, and supporting the distribution of the fence posts to a number of farmers.

The steel-reinforced recycled plastic fence posts were the first to be made from 20,000 used silage film wraps and REDcycle plastics received at the Plastic Forests Albury Wodonga facility. Silage film that farmers use to wrap hay was being shipped overseas prior to the China ban, but since then its disposal within Australia has been problematic.

David Hodge managing director of Plastic Forests says, “Silage film is a high tech plastic that is practically rot-proof, it will last for hundreds, probably thousands of years if buried in landfill, which is becoming impossible now anyway as a number of regional councils are telling farmers that silage wrap is no longer being accepted into their landfills. Thanks to the Plastic Forests technology we can now convert it into fence posts, solving the disposal issue, and providing farmers with a rot-proof fence.”

Australia generates some 10,000 tonnes of used silage film each year from agricultural products, which now have to be disposed of within its own borders. Hodge says, “The silage film manufacturers have not stepped up to address this environmental problem. But thanks to our partnership with the Coles Nurture Fund, which has donated $300,000 to Plastic Forests to help with our recycling investment, farmers are now being helped, and the silage film is now being put to good use, and not buried in the ground, or burned.”

Hodge says, “Recycling only works when there is something for the waste plastic to be recycled into, and that has to be something that someone will buy. Fence posts are a great example, our top-selling raised garden beds and garden edging are another. Coles and REDcycle understand this, and we are all working towards end-to-end recycling.”