Toowoomba resident Graeme Snell will save at least 150,000kgs of blue plastic strapping from landfill this year as his recycling project evolves into a sustainable business.
Mr Snell purchased a $15,000 granulator machine in July to shred and compress the blue plastic strapping used to bind boxes and parcels by more than 90%.
He had been collecting the plastic waste from Toowoomba businesses over the past three years and had cut up nearly one tonne of strapping by hand with a pair of scissors before his machine arrived.
Bundaberg Drinks saw Mr Snell’s story on the news in August and have since trucked 30 tonnes of strapping to Mr Snell’s Toowoomba workshop for him to recycle. He has applied for a recycling grant to purchase a second, larger granulator which would increase his recycling output more than three-fold to 500,000kgs per year.
“I am ecstatic. It is beyond my wildest dreams that my project idea has turned into a business, and I can make a difference,” Mr Snell said.
Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki MP has been writing letters of support for Mr Snell’s recycling grant applications. “The best ideas, like Graeme’s, always come from the grassroots and we need to get behind them,” Mr Janetzki said. “In the coming years Graeme will single-handedly save millions of kilograms of plastic waste from landfill which is an extraordinary feat.”
Mr Snell is searching for other large-scale businesses in Queensland and interstate to supply him with their strapping waste. He is also getting Colgate-Palmolive onboard as a client.
“I believe there is too much of a political thought bubble around the environment with carbon emission targets and so on, but this is a real figure – 150,000kgs of plastic – it is something you can see and touch,” Mr Snell said.
Mr Snell sells the shredded plastic to a company in Brisbane who uses it to make new plastic strapping. It can also be melted into pellets and then used to produce new plastic products such as containers, floor mats, plant pots, bins and more.
“I’ve always been quite passionate about recycling, and I knew that blue strapping was going straight into landfill,” Mr Snell said. “I knew there was an end-use for it as it was a very clean source of plastic, but recyclers wouldn’t take the bulky product,” he said. “I have now closed that loop by using my granulator.”
Office of David Janetzki MP
Member for Toowoomba South