A grant worth $1.25 million was given by the government of New Zealand in order to fund the improvement and upgrading of the plastic extrusion facility by EnviroNZ which is located in Christchurch. The grand was taken from the Waste Minimisation Fund of the government.
With the upgrade, the plant will have the capacity to recycle more than 1000 tonnes of bulk fertilizer bags made of woven polypropylene which are transformed into high quality pellets annually. The polypropylene pellets are then utilized by local companies in New Zealand in order to manufacture products like rope and irrigation tubing.
The plant was originally obtained by EnviroNZ in 2014 when they purchased the Mastagard located in Christchurch but since 2012 the facility was not utilized for its specific purpose.
According to Scott Simpson, an associate environment minister in Christchurch, the funding will make it possible for EnviroNZ to perform the recycling of polypropylene in their facility. The company will conduct installation of added processing and storage equipment which will be used for the bulk fertilizer bag. The equipment will include a plastic shredder, blowers, wash plat and silos.
He added that it is important for New Zealand to set up a vital infrastructure like the plastic facility of EnviroNZ in order to lessen the amount of bulk fertilizer bags that are disposed by farms as of the moment.
Balance and Ravensdown alone, companies that manufacture and distribute fertilizer, uses around 1 million bulk fertilizer bags that are used only once which equates to about 3000 tonnes. In partnership with EnviroNZ, these two companies are able to work a set up wherein the bags can be recovered from the farms and brought to the recycling facility. Currently, farmers are able to send 100 tonne of bags to the plastic facility every month.
As of writing, the bags that were collected are already baled and stored properly as these will be exported offshore. Onshore processing will be possible once the recycling plant is upgraded and equipment like plastic shredder is bough by EnviroNZ with the aid of the government fund.