Tasmanian-based Tassal and Envorinex are set to achieve a new level in plastic recycling, with Tasmania’s largest salmon farmer moving towards 100 per cent recycling of its major plastic waste across its operations.
Following the success of Envorinex recycling all of Tassal’s rigid recyclable plastics over the past two-years, Tassal’s contract with Envorinex has been expanded to include recycling of all soft-plastics (nets, stanchions, ropes, feed bags and processing bin liners).
As a result, Envorinex will now annually recycle and transform into second-life products, about 500 tonnes of Tassal’s plastics, which otherwise was previously sent offshore for recycling or to landfill.
Tasmania has the second lowest rate of plastic recycling in the country with only 5.1 per cent of plastics used being recycled.
Under the new arrangement, Envorinex will take all Tassal’s infrastructure and processing plastic waste for recycling and remanufacturing here in Tasmania, transforming it into products, which support the building, horticulture, essential services and fishing industries.
Envorinex Managing Director Jenny Brown said as a result Tassal would become the state’s largest single supplier of redundant plastics for recycling.
“From Tassal’s waste plastics, we make permeable grids for car parks, stockyards and roadways, steel truss pacers for housing frames, fence posts, components for fire extinguishers, shellfish products and other innovative custom products,” she said.
“We commend Tassal’s initiative to take recycling to the next level and encourage other businesses in Tasmania to look at how innovative solutions exist, which help one industry reduce waste, and another with the ability to recycle and re-manufacture quality second life products.”
Tassal Head of Environment Sean Riley said the company was pleased to take its recycling to the next level.
“Envorinex is a good example of the level of innovation which exists in Tasmania,” he said.
“We have a strong focus at Tassal on reducing waste, and our environmental footprint, and it’s very rewarding when two organisations can work together like this to achieve a solution for the potential benefit of other industries through the creation of recycled and remanufactured product.”
Mr Riley said Tassal was investing more in terms of marine debris action plans.
“The partnership with Envorinex is part of the overall solution to achieve a zero-plastics waste outcome,” he said.
Erik Raudzens, Aquaculture and Marine Conservation Manager – WWF-Australia, said too much plastic pollution was ending up in the environment and harming wildlife when they mistakenly eat plastics or get tangled up.
“This initiative by Tassal and Envorinex is a great example of businesses working together in smarter and more sustainable ways,” he said. “The more we can reduce and recycle plastics, the less likely they are to end up in our environment.
“We hope other businesses, communities and individuals will follow their example.”
Of the more than 300 million tonnes of plastic produced worldwide each year, the vast majority is not recycled.
Because it is buoyant and durable, it has a long-term impact on the ocean.
Marine life can become entangled and unintentionally consume it. More than 200 species are known to be at risk from eating plastic, including 55 per cent of the world’s seabirds, including iconic Tasmanian species such as the Shy Albatross.
For other species, plastics create a physical barrier on beaches to animals such as sea turtles, and lowers the diversity of shoreline invertebrates.
The Australian Plastics Recycling Survey 2016-17** says national recycling rates have fallen from previous studies with the majority of recycling still being exported overseas.