25 Mar 2021
New Zealand 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, soft plastics and coffee cups.
The technology to turn waste into high performance building material was developed in the United States where it has been widely used for more than a decade. The product was chosen by Tesla as the membrane roof substrate for its 200,000m2 gigafactory in Nevada. The Tesla roof equates to upcycling 2,000 tonnes of composite plastics and saves 336,000 kgs of embodied CO2 compared to using plywood.
The waste-to-building material technology is being brought to New Zealand by saveBOARD, a new venture backed by Freightways, Tetra Pak and Closed Loop. The first New Zealand saveBOARD plant will be at Te Rapa near Hamilton and its first production run is scheduled for late 2021.
The plant will save up to 4,000 tonnes of waste from landfill every year. Twelve new jobs will be created initially, with more expected as the project grows.
saveBOARD will manufacture an impact resistant board with similar performance to plywood, OSB (oriented strand board) and particle board that can be used for interior and exterior applications. Using proven, patented technology which has been operating for over 12 years, the material is upcycled from waste into affordable, high performance, low carbon building materials.
saveBOARD Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Paul Charteris says 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 New Zealand. “It will enhance the construction industry’s drive towards more sustainable construction practices.”
saveBOARD is negotiating to receive waste material from large food and beverage companies that want to meet ambitious waste reduction targets and be more environmentally responsible.
Building a circular economy also requires backing from key industry partners. saveBOARD has funding and support from industry leaders who will provide recycled material as well as transport and logistics solutions. These partners include:
Tetra Pak Oceania Managing Director Andrew Pooch says the solution demonstrates Tetra Pak’s commitment and contribution to a low carbon economy.
“It is more than just an investment for us. It is the right thing to do - to help limit waste to landfill and support a technology that improves local waste collection and recycling infrastructure,” says Mr Pooch.
Freightways, Chief Executive Officer Mark Troughear says its investment in saveBOARD allows the freight and logistics company to fully realise a commitment to circular waste solutions with minimal carbon kilometres, all while providing a new strategic growth category.
“saveBOARD completes an end-product solution for Freightways, where waste can be regenerated and reused into world class products while utilising our core capabilities in pick-up, process and delivery channels,” says Mr Troughear.
“It’s an investment in what we believe will be a very compelling business, offering a brand-new sustainable product to one of New Zealand’s largest industries,” he says. Closed Loop Managing Director Rob Pascoe says saveBOARD products will be the lowest carbon footprint interior and exterior board products on the market.
“saveBOARD promises a better, greener, more affordable solution that can lead us towards a more sustainable future. It’s the perfect example of the circular economy in action,” says Mr Pascoe.
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