When it comes to building materials, lifecycle cost and longevity is key, and there is no doubt that plastic ticks all the boxes: It’s durable, it’s strong, and it’s flexible. But the reality is that fossil fuels are the base ingredients to most plastic products.
Aliaxis is currently trialling alternative bio-resins that will eliminate the need for fossil fuels. But this will take some time to activate. In the meantime, we’re doubling down on our recycling initiatives.
When handled correctly, plastic can be recycled many times. If we can close the loop by recycling PVC and PE off-cuts or taking back product at end of life, we will significantly reduce the amount of virgin material, and therefore, fossil fuels we consume.
We’re committed to action, so we are investing in New Zealand’s recycling capability.
Plastics Innovation Fund
In 2022 we were excited to announce a significant $12.5m investment in our mission to dramatically reduce plastic construction and demolition waste in New Zealand. We are now working with Waste Management New Zealand and Unitec ESRC supported by a grant from the Ministry for the Environment’s Plastics Innovation Fund. The project includes:
- Investing in new plastic recycling facilities across New Zealand which will sort, wash and shred PVC and HDPE plastic from construction and demolition, commercial and industrial sources
- Establishing a network of metropolitan and regional PVC and HDPE collection services in partnership with Waste Management New Zealand
- Carrying out research with Unitec ESRC into practical solutions to minimise plastic construction waste and help to raise awareness of plastic recycling.
The collected plastic will then be used at Aliaxis New Zealand’s sites to manufacture our next generation of PVC and HDPE piping systems used in building, infrastructure and agriculture projects across NZ, completing the loop and reducing our overall plastic resin importation.
To help the plan become a reality, Aliaxis and Waste Management have formed Plastics Recycling NZ who have in turn purchased recycling expert Compounding Specialists Ltd (Comspec). The plastic recycler, located in Christchurch, handles over 4000 tonnes of plastic resins per year. With a management team who have over 120 years combined experience in the Plastics Industry they have become award winning leaders in the recycling field.
Recycling in action
Thanks to our partners and everyone that returned their old and unwanted product in 2022 we were able to recycle an impressive 625,000kgs of plastic. This equates to an estimated 800T of CO2e avoided!
Our target in 2023 is a substantial increase to 1,300,000kg.
We currently have 30 recycling drop off locations nationwide!
We are currently peaking at 47% recycled content in Drainflo® and Drainflo® HD, with goals to increase this even further.
We also have up to 30% recycled material in some of our other products and that number continues to grow!
Drainflo® is also made up of significant amounts of recycled milk bottles and other HDPE recyclate.