Pact Group company Astron Sustainability in Auckland has received $500,000 in government funding for a solution which turns "challenging" plastic waste into useful products.

Recycling challenging plastics such as silage wrap hasn’t previously been done in New Zealand due to being deemed "too contaminated" by the local recycling industry.

Instead, the materials were forced offshore to be recycled.

Now, Pact Group has received funding from the Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) to help expand the Astron Sustainability Auckland recycling plant with new infrastructure and capacity, which will convert challenging plastic waste into a range of usable product such as slipsheets, dampcourse, plastic plywood, and underground cable covers.

Any surplus will be made available to the broader plastics industry.

Astron business manager Steve Mead said he was thankful for the support received from the WMF.

"Being able to provide a local recycling solution for a very troublesome plastic waste problem is exciting,” he said.

One of the products being made from recycled materials is Plasback’s Tuffboard plastic plywood, used commonly on farms.

This is one example of the circular economy in action.

"We take farm waste and turn it into a useful product that can be used again back on the farm,” Mead said.

The overall budget is $1.5m, of which the WMF contribution of $500,000.

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