Australian recycling company recognised on world stage at Davos

Australian recycling company recognised on world stage at Davos


Australian recycling innovator Close the Loop has been shortlisted for the 2019 Circular Economy Awards presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January. The Circulars are the world’s premier circular economy award program, recognising organisations and individuals making significant contributions to the circular economy in the private and public
sectors.
The 2019 awards featured eight categories including entrepreneur, tech disrupter and multinational. Australian company Close the Loop has been shortlisted in the SME category for its TonerPlas innovation – an asphalt additive that utilises more than 530,000 recycled plastic bags, toner from
more than 12,000 used printer cartridges and glass from 168,000 bottles in every two-lane 1km stretch of road. In conjunction with road layer Downer, TonerPlas has already been used in roads in Melbourne,
Sydney, Adelaide and Hobart with further rollout in other states currently underway. Close the Loop General Manager Nerida Mortlock said it was an honour to be shortlised at the global sustainability awards.
“Close the Loop has been at the forefront of the Australian circular economy for more than 17 years. “Being acknowledged at The Circulars is the pinnacle for sustainability companies, and it’s exciting to be representing Australia at these high-profile awards.” “TonerPlas is a great example of industrial ecology and collaboration coming together to create not just a new product, but a better-quality product. The addition of TonerPlas creates a superior road surface with a 65 percent increased fatigue life over conventional asphalt, meaning longer lasting
roads at a cost-competitive price.” “At Close the Loop we give new life to valuable resources by improving reusability, simplifying recycling, and maximising the value of recovered materials. Our promise of zero waste to landfill has seen us partner with manufacturers through takeback programs across several industries, including printer cartridges, batteries and cosmetics. “While our core business has traditionally been in cartridge recycling, in the last financial year we processed and recycled more than 40 million cartridges – regulation, ESG reporting standards and consumer sentiment is moving industry towards ‘whole lifecycle’ planning. This means an increasing demand for our services in reverse logistics, product sorting and cleaning, data collection and analytics, chip reading and replacement, and materials recovery.” Running since 2015, previous Circular Economy award winners include Nike, IKEA, Canon Europe,
Patagonia, Philips and Rubicon.

New Manufacturing Line Can Turn 200,000 Tonnes of SOFT Plastics and Toner Into ‘TONERPLAS’ Asphalt Additive

New Manufacturing Line Can Turn 200,000 Tonnes of SOFT Plastics and Toner Into ‘TONERPLAS’ Asphalt Additive

Recycling innovator Close the Loop has unveiled an upgraded manufacturing facility that could divert two-thirds of Australia’s 300,000 tonnes of waste soft plastics sent to local landfill annually. The new manufacturing line in Melbourne will produce TonerPlas – an asphalt additive that contains the equivalent of 530,000 recycled plastic bags, toner from more than 12,000 recycled cartridges and 168,000 glass bottles in every kilometre of two-lane road. In conjunction with Downer, roads made with TonerPlas have already been laid in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra. Close the Loop Chairman Craig Devlin said the opening of the line enables the company to produce the additive on a commercial scale. “Close the Loop has been at the forefront of the circular economy for more than 17 years. Our goal of zero waste to landfill has seen us partner with manufacturers through take-back programs across multiple sectors including printer cartridges, cosmetics and batteries. “TonerPlas is a great example of how valuable materials can be recycled to not just create new products, but better-quality products. The addition of TonerPlas improves the fatigue life of traditional asphalt by 65 percent, meaning longer lasting roads at a cost-competitive price. It also offers superior resistance to deformation over standard conventional asphalt for withstanding heavy vehicular traffic.”

“At full capacity our new manufacturing line provides us with the ability to produce enough TonerPlas in a year to pave a two-lane road from Sydney to Melbourne. That would contain the equivalent of 530,000,000 recycled plastic bags, 168,000,000 recycled glass bottles and 12,000,000 recycled toner cartridges. That’s more than 200,000 tonnes of soft plastics that currently go to landfill in Australia.”

He added that policy changes in China last year had highlighted the importance of a local recycling industry and improved energy use across the design, use and reuse of products – a circular economy. “Our new manufacturing capacity to reuse soft plastics and toner into TonerPlas is a great example of what local companies can do. However, Australia needs to coordinate and invest in infrastructure to build a viable recycling industry and divert problematic waste streams from landfill. Banning plastic bags is a start, but it doesn’t solve the challenge, especially as plastic bags account for less than five percent of all waste soft plastics.