12 Nov 2018

Old milk bottles to be turned into fence posts

3:30 pm on 12 November 2018

Milk bottles and other soft plastics are to be turned into fence posts for New Zealand farms under a new recycling initiative.

Anchor Milk. Fonterra products

Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The New Zealand start-up, Future Post, has teamed up with several soft-plastic suppliers including Fonterra and the Packaging Forum to create fence posts from waste plastic.

Fonterra Brand's New Zealand Sustainability and Environment Manager, Larisa Thathiah, said the posts, which would use re-purposed milk bottles, were an innovative new way for farmers to improve their on-farm sustainability.

"This partnership provides farmers with an environmentally-friendly fencing option, made from the packaging of our farmers' milk, which is pretty special," said Ms Thathiah.

"It's not enough to just recycle anymore, it's about creating less waste full stop, or at least turning it into something useful. That's why these fence posts are so exciting - they're made from 100% recycled material, and have a life expectancy of more than 50 years," she said.

The milk bottles will be collected from the Fonterra Takanini site and transported to the Future Post Waiuku plant, where they will be mixed with soft plastics and turned into fence posts.

The fence posts will be available in selected Fonterra Farm Source stores across the North Island in the New Year, with plans to launch in South Island stores mid-2019.

Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell and Future Post Managing Director Jerome Wenzlick revealed the posts at Fonterra's Open Gates event in Karaka over the weekend.