Increased recycling capacity for farm plastics supports the Plasback recycling program

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Press release and media statement:

Astron Sustainability is to receive a funding boost to upgrade end to end local recycling solution to New Zealand.

The process of recycling challenging plastics such as silage wrap is innovative and hasn’t previously been done in New Zealand. Historically the material was deemed too contaminated by the local recycling industry and the materials were forced offshore to be recycled.

The funding received from the Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) will help expand the Astron Sustainability Auckland recycling plant with new infrastructure and capacity which will convert challenging plastic waste into a wide range of usable product such as slipsheets, dampcourse, plastic plywood and underground cable covers. Any surplus will be made available to the broader plastics industry.

Steve Mead Business Manager of Astron Sustainability said “We are thankful for the support we have received from the Waste Minimisation Fund. Being able to provide a local recycling solution for a very troublesome plastic waste problem is exciting.”

In 2015, Astron received WMF funding for the first stage “Cleaning and Recycling of ‘Hard to Recycle’ Soft Plastics” project. The project was successfully completed in December 2016, including the installation of a unique dry – cleaning machine which enabled the successful recycling of previously unable to be recycled plastic. This additional funding means the plant can significantly increase its capability and process up 3500 tonnes per year.

“One of the products being made from recycled materials is Plasback’s Tuffboard plastic plywood used commonly on farms and is fantastic example of the circular economy in action. We take farm waste collected by Plasback and turn it into a useful product that can be used again back on the farm,” said Mr Mead.

Malcom Bundey, Managing Director and CEO of Astron‘s parent company, Pact Group, said “The New Zealand waste management industry has stepped up to higher standards and Astron Sustainability are proud to embrace new opportunities such as this with assistance of the Waste Minimisation Fund”

The overall budget is $1.5m of which the WMF contribution of $500,000.


Hon Eugenie Sage

Associate Minister for the Environment

Government funding to boost New Zealand plastics recycling capacity
Plastic recycling company Astron is getting $500,000 under the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund to expand its plastic recycling facility in New Zealand, Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.
“The Government is committed to reducing the amount of waste going to landfill or being shipped offshore,” Eugenie Sage said.
“Improving our onshore ability to recycle plastics into new, useful products is really important, particularly given the pressures on the recycling export sector with reduced markets and lower prices for exporting recycling materials.”
Astron is one of Australasia’s largest recyclers of used plastics. Every year it converts millions of kilograms of plastic into new products including plastic resin, slip sheets and underground cable covers.
Astron will use the funding at its Auckland plant, including to install a pre-shredder and extruder, to filter out contamination from organics and other waste. This technology will add to the plant’s existing recycling line, allowing it to run at optimum levels and increase the range of hard-to-recycle plastics, numbered 2 and 4, which can be processed.
The expanded capability will mean agricultural plastics, such as silage wrap and milk powder bags, will be able to be recycled.
The Waste Minimisation Fund was established in 2009 and is funded by a levy of $10 per tonne charged on waste disposed of at landfills.
“We want to accelerate New Zealand’s transition to a circular economy, where we can unmake everything we make, and reuse, recycle or compost each individual part of a product so that waste is essentially designed out of the system,” Eugenie Sage said.

For more information on the Waste Minimisation Fund, contact:

Maggie Tait M: 027 346 9570 E:


Eugenie Sage






Eugenie Sage1