Tasmanian company transforms PVC waste

By Kate Tilley
Correspondent

Published: July 18, 2013 2:01 pm ET
Updated: July 18, 2013 2:05 pm ET

Image By: Envorinex Raised garden beds created from recycled PVC window profiles.

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Construction, Tanks - agricultural/industrial, Vinyl siding, Windows & doors, Extrusion, Recycling

GEORGE TOWN, TASMANIA – An Australian manufacturer’s unplastized PVC recycling program has seen about 105 tons of window profile waste recycled since 2012 and converted into products that include septic tanks for developing nations.

Poly Marketing Pty. Ltd., trading as Envorinex, is based in George Town, on Australia’s island state of Tasmania. It manufactures injection molded and extruded products, mainly from PVC and polypropylene. Its recyclable product range includes noise abatement fencing; matting; beehive foundations; septic tanks; raised garden beds; and guardrail delineators.

Envorinex sells about 5 percent of its product in Tasmania, 55 percent is freighted to mainland Australia, and 40 percent exported to North America, Japan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the South Pacific region, and Europe.

Envorinex managing director Jenny Brown said the company identified in 2010 that more than 700 tons of PVC window frame profile off-cuts goes to landfill in Australia annually.

Most window profiles used in Australia are manufactured in Europe, mainly Turkey, shipped to Australia and fabricated domestically, creating the off-cuts that are usually destined for landfill.

In response, Envorinex established a recycling program to collect and reuse the PVC waste in its products. Brown said the program took off in early 2012 after extensive research and testing in 2010 and 2011.

The concept of reusing PVC waste was initially tested at Envorinex’s Tasmanian factory and, once it was found viable, the company started collecting PVC waste on Australia’s mainland. Oakleigh Centre Industries, the employment division of Oakleigh Centre for Intellectually Disabled Citizens Inc., in Oakleigh, Victoria, is its Melbourne collection center. Fabricators and builders drop off-cuts there for Envorinex to grind and ship to Tasmania.

Brown said Envorinex is working with the New South Wales state government-funded Environment Protection Authority to establish another collection center in Sydney.

She said all PVC off-cuts are tested before recycling. To ensure Envorinex’s products remain fully recyclable, it cannot use waste containing heavy metals, like lead. It uses only about 30 percent of the waste collected.

Approved off-cuts are peeled, color sorted and granulated at the George Town factory or the Melbourne collection center.

Septic tank chambers manufactured with PVC waste are exported to developing countries, like Papua New Guinea and Fiji. “They assist in countries where sanitization is lacking,” Brown said.

She said Envorinex can potentially recycle other plastic products, not just window profiles. But many contain agents that cannot be recycled.

This year, Envorinex joined the PVC Recovery in Hospitals program, through which commonly used PVC medical products, specifically tubing, IV fluid bags and oxygen masks, are recycled. The program was officially launched by Australia’s national PVC industry body, the Melbourne-based Vinyl Council of Australia, in March.

Brown said Envorinex is collecting PVC waste from four Tasmanian hospitals to create anti-fatigue matting for workers who must stand for long periods on hard surfaces. She estimates the company has collected about two tons so far.

Brown said being based on an island means freight is the company’s “major expense.” Envorinex must ship products to Melbourne before they are exported; there is no international shipping direct from Tasmania.

The Australian Government established the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme, which subsidizes the cost of transporting goods by sea between Tasmania and the Australian mainland, but Envorinex gets no subsidies for shipping beyond Australian shores.


Comments

Tasmanian company transforms PVC waste

By Kate Tilley
Correspondent

Published: July 18, 2013 2:01 pm ET
Updated: July 18, 2013 2:05 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

DuPont resins help take Nike golf balls 'Fore!'ward

July 25, 2014 1:07 pm ET

It may be difficult to imagine just how much science, not to mention rubber and plastic components, go into a golf ball. But global giant DuPont Co....    More

Image

Bioplastics maker wins government funding

July 25, 2014 12:13 pm ET

Canadian bioplastics maker Solegear Bioplastics Inc. has won $1.6 million in funding from the government-sponsored Western Innovation Initiative...    More

Image

Report: biodegradeable plastics use in Europe to grow 12 percent

July 25, 2014 10:25 am ET

The biodegradable plastics market in Europe is forecast to witness 12 percent compound growth during 2014-19, according to TechSci Research's...    More

Image

Plastics News Now: Lego pieces wash ashore 17 years after accident

July 24, 2014 9:16 am ET

Michigan replacing steel with carbon fiber to reinforce concrete on a bridge and we talk economics with Bill Wood.    More

Image

Prices trending up for some recycled resins

July 24, 2014 1:27 pm ET

Plastics News is correcting prices for recycled grades of several commodity resins on this week's resin pricing chart.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recyclers Data Report & Directory

This exclusive MS Excel database contains all the companies from Plastics News' ranking of top North American Recyclers and Brokers by reprocessed volume and also includes a directory with materials processes, services offered and company contact information. Data is based on primary research by PN editorial staff.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events