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Recycled coffee cups to be used by Aussie builders

James Mitchell
22 September 2021 1 minute readShare
Recycled coffee cups to be used by Aussie builders

Australian builders will soon be able to replace plywood, particle board and plaster board with low-carbon, environmentally sustainable construction boards made from packaging waste such as used beverage cartons and coffee cups.

saveBOARD Australia has received a $1.74 million grant from the federal and New South Wales governments towards setting up a $5 million facility that will turn packaging waste into building material. The project is funded by the Australian government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund and the NSW government’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative.

The Australian and NSW governments and the companies behind the project expect the facility will create confidence in a new market for recycled construction materials, similar to roads made from recycled glass, and enable more packaging to become 100% recyclable, in line with national packaging targets.

“It is great to see this level of collaboration across the entire supply chain, addressing post-consumer materials by putting in place effective local end-market solutions,” said Brooke Donnelly, Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation CEO.

“This is a prime example of the collective impact model in practice which will help establish a manufacturing capacity in Australia. Led by industry with the support of government, APCO will continue to support this type of collaboration as we work to transition to a circular economy for packaging and meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets.”

The project is the first collaboration between Tetra Pak and SIG Combibloc in Australia under the umbrella of the Global Recycling Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (GRACE) and is a joint initiative with saveBOARD and its supporters Freightways and Closed Loop.

saveBOARD co-founder and chief executive officer Paul Charteris said making high-performance, low-carbon building materials using 100% recycled materials from everyday waste is a game changer that will transform the construction industry in Australia.

“It will enhance the construction industry’s drive towards more sustainable construction practices,” he said. 

The first Australian saveBOARD plant will reprocess liquid paperboard beverage containers, including both aluminium-lined aseptic packages and non-aluminium-lined containers collected through the container deposit scheme and coffee cups collected through the Simply Cups recycling program. It will also source material from document-recycling company Shred-X.

Together with supplementary material from industrial processes, these items will be used to manufacture high-performance, low-carbon building products to substitute plaster board, particle board and oriented strand board (OSB) that can be used for interior and exterior applications.

The saveBOARD process uses heat and compression to bond materials, eliminating the need for glues or other chemical additives, to produce a clean product with zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs), suitable for use in homes and commercial buildings.

Recycled coffee cups to be used by Aussie builders
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James Mitchell

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