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GrainCorp collaboration to eliminate bunker tarpaulin waste

GrainCorp has partnered with plastics recycler Sustainable Plastic Solutions (SPS) to eliminate grain tarpaulins from landfill by 2027.

GrainCorp has partnered with plastics recycler Sustainable Plastic Solutions (SPS) to eliminate grain tarpaulins from landfill by 2027.

The company has recycled more than 100 tonnes, or 107,679 kilograms of tarps, which cover and protect bunkers of grain against weather and damage, from sites in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria over the last year.

SPS is an Australian owned and operated plastic recycling business, based in Hamilton in regional Victoria.

The two organisations are also investigating how to restore the recycled tarp material into new tarps.

GrainCorp head of sustainability Mick Anderson said the partnership will help to build a more sustainable tarp management process for the grains industry.

“Tarps are a critical part of our storage network, each one covers and protects up to 3000 tonnes of grain or oilseed in GrainCorp’s bunkers,” he said.

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“We treat them carefully to keep them in operation for as long as possible, but they’re exposed to the elements and eventually wear out, which can put anywhere from 250kg to 600kg of material out of action each time.

“It’s great to secure a sustainable waste solution for the end-of-life tarps, and to be exploring the potentials of a circular solution over time.”

SPS CEO Matt Nettleton said once the tarps reach SPS, they go on quite the journey to be reclaimed for other uses.

“The tarps are washed, shredded, melted and pelletised before being sent off to our industry partners to become anything from industrial walkways or floor grids for shearing sheds, to seats for our sport stadiums,” Nettleton said.

“We’ve received tarps from as far north as Emerald in Queensland, right down to the sites here in the Western District of Victoria.”

“The scale of production is enormous and the opportunity to make a sustainable difference to the grains industry is very exciting.”

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