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Cartons into houses

Coffee cups and milk cartons could soon be the building blocks of our homes, Planet Ark has just announced.

This week is National Recycling Week, so what better time to reveal that major industry players have joined forces behind an innovative solution to turn used food-grade cartons and cups into wall panels.

Cartons can be produced sustainably and are technically recyclable, but that can be tricky due to the composite materials used to keep contents safe without the need for preservatives and refrigeration.

While the major component in all food and beverage cartons is paperboard, those with fresh contents come with a thin layer of plastic and those designed for long-life contents come with an aluminium layer.

At present, local recyclers are limiting what paper and cardboard they accept because of the oversupply of recovered fibre in Australia. The additional materials in cartons result in some councils and their waste contractors preferring not to receive them in kerbside collection. Nevertheless, the majority of residents can still recycle cartons through kerbside recycling and Container Deposit Schemes (CDS) across Australia. To overcome this roadblock, solutions are being created through the collaborative effort of all stakeholders.

To close the loop on cartons and truly leverage the circularity this packaging solution offers, major industry players, including Tetra Pak, gathered recently to acknowledge current gaps in the value chain and worked to provide a solution. That innovative resolution involves recycling both fresh and long-life cartons into a new construction material called saveBoard, so our milk and juice boxes can become new walls.

saveBoard Australia’s vision is to tackle packaging waste and turn it into building material. It has received a grant worth $1.74 million from the Federal and NSW Government to build a new facility in NSW that turns packaging waste such as used cartons and takeaway coffee cups into low carbon, environmentally sustainable, high-performance construction boards for the Australian building market.

The project is a part of the low carbon circular economy, which aligns with Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Target to shift to 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging. The facility is expected to be operational around September 2022, with more planned to ensure cartons can be recycled around the country.

About Adam Nobel

CEO | Principal
M. Bus, Grad Dip Adv, B.Int Bus, LREA


0417 007 001

Adam is the founder and Principal of Hugo Alexander Property Group. With a previous career in advertising, 22 years experience in property investment, and 16 years in Brisbane real estate, he knows the market inside out to ensure his clients grow their wealth faster.

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