Close the Loop-Cartridges 4 Planet Ark Launches New State of the Art Recycling Facility.

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Date: Tuesday February 27, 2024 04:13:26 pm
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  • jim

    Close the Loop-Cartridges 4 Planet Ark
    Launches New State of the Art Recycling Facility.

    Close the Loop, a leader in closed-loop recycling, has opened a new facility in Melbourne that will boost Australia’s ability to recycle soft plastics and support the circular economy. The facility was inaugurated in early February and marked a key step towards restoring soft plastic collections and recycling in Australia. The facility will enable Close the Loop to handle and transform more complex waste streams from various partners in industry, retail and council sectors, while producing high-quality recycled plastic products that will be sold and reused by partners through ‘circular contracts.

    Printer cartridges and toner - City of Moreton Bay

    Close the Loop has been collaborating with Planet Ark as the resource recovery partner of the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark printer cartridge recycling scheme since 2003. With the backing of participating manufacturers, the program has recycled over 50 million printer cartridges with zero waste to landfill, making it one of Australia’s most successful and long-standing product stewardship schemes. This program provides free collection and recycling services across Australia for print cartridges and other consumable products.

    Close the Loop’s new facility will process post-consumer soft plastics, printer cartridge toner recovered through the C4PA program and other complex materials and convert them into the patented TonerPlas, which is used to enhance the performance and lifespan of asphalt roads while reducing the carbon footprint.

    This product has been applied in resurfacing projects across Australia including the Monash and M80 freeway upgrades in Victoria. It is a way of creating more sustainable roads by improving the durability of asphalt and lowering the carbon emissions over the road’s lifecycle. One of the latest innovations in this area is Reconophalt, a continuously recyclable asphalt that contains TonerPlas®. One kilometer of two-lane road paved with Reconophalt will reuse and divert from landfill approximately:

    101,000 glass bottle equivalents
    waste toner from 17,400 used printer cartridges.
    202 tons of recycled asphalt pavement
    597,000 plastic bag equivalents

    Soft plastics recycling has been constrained in terms of scale and availability in Australia since the REDcycle program was shut down in 2022. While public collections of soft plastics have not yet resumed, the increased capacity for processing this facility will offer an important first step towards reinstating soft plastic recycling habits back into the norm.

    Some council areas, like the City of Greater Bendigo, have started offering their own free soft plastics drop off points for residents. They have teamed up with Close the Loop to collect soft plastics and will also purchase the recycled product back for use in their regional road projects. Circular contracts such as these ensure there is not just a one-way flow of waste to the recycler, but also a demand for the recycled material in the form of remanufactured products. This keeps valuable materials in the production cycle and reduces our dependence on landfills to manage waste.

    17 years and 45 million cartridges recycled - The Recycler - 10/03/2020

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