Updated: Oct 12, 2021
Recycled plastic seems a logical and sustainable path forward, and with a whopping 84% of plastic sent to landfill  in Australia, issues related to plastics recycling are becoming more pronounced than ever. So why is it so hard to recycle plastic and why aren’t more manufacturers using more recycled plastic?
The challenge of plastics recycling
When derived from multiple sources, sorting plastic is painstakingly laborious. Add food scraps, cleaning of those food scraps and other contaminants, multiple plastic or polymer types, and a cost competitive, comparable, high quality recycled resin may seems unfeasible. Economic factors can also impact the cost and quality of recycled plastic resins as they are often tied to oil commodity prices. Many manufacturers however, including Holloway Group, still offer recycled and sustainable plastic material options in their proprietary ranges.
Is there a better way?
Innovation around how plastic is processed and reused IS taking place. Professor Thomas Maschmeyer, of the University of Sydney’s School of Chemistry has created a chemical process that turns plastic into fuel or other usable products like wax and lubricating oils. The creation of new compatibilisers that allow for polyethylene and polypropylene can also help. But it’s a technology born in 2004 in NSW, Sydney by a husband-and-wife team, that is only NOW making waves in plastics recycling arena.
A deep passion for environmental sustainability and 17 solid years of research and development by Charlie and Rose Smithers led to the development of a unique, co-mingled plastic recycling process that allows for 100% of multiple plastic polymer types to be integrated into a single proprietary material. Validated by CSIRO, testing has shown the recycled plastic born from this unique process, known as Plasmar, has a lifespan of over 50 years and doesn’t require UV stabilisers or other additives to strengthen the product or expand its performance.
Via an extrusion process, the recycled plastic is moulded into hardwearing plastic fence posts, strainers, square posts, bollards, sleepers and pallets used in agricultural, commercial and civil industries. A sustainable alternative to timber, Plasmar products can be drilled, cut or notched; are rot and bacteria resistant and safe for use around animals and livestock.
A favoured solution by farmers, Plasmar products tick sustainability and environmental boxes, and also addresses the growing timber shortage born from the Black Summer bushfires and coronavirus construction boom.
“Plasmar products can be used in place of timber, but far outweighs the performance and longevity of timber. We’ve spent years perfecting this technology and engineered proprietary blend of polymers. We are proud our technology uses 100% co-mingled plastic; what goes in, comes out as a commercially viable, attractive and hardwearing product,” says Rose Smithers.
Plasmar products are also growing in popularity amongst civil, residential and commercial construction industries as word of the product’s longevity spreads.
Plasmar recently joined the Holloway Group family of brands in July 2021 and speaks to the Groups' strong commitment to sustainability, innovation and Australian made products.
For more information on Plasmar and its range of products, visit www.plasmar.com.au or contact Holloway Group to find out more.
 National Plastics Plan 2021, page 2, https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/a327406c-79f5-47f1-b71b-7388407c35a0/files/national-plastics-plan-2021.pdf