Recycling contributes to South Island export success
Bouquets of beautiful lilies and work-scared plastic materials handling crates would seemingly have nothing in common.
Don’t bet on it!
Anyone who knows us at Viscount Plastics New Zealand will confirm the lengths we go to ensure our products are capable of being ground up for recycling as raw material for plastic moulding and extrusion.
Over recent years some 150 tonnes of ground up out of service plastic materials handling crates and other of our products have been making a key contribution to what is perhaps best described as a blooming export success for New Zealand.
Largely as a result of investment and encouragement by the Dutch company, Van Zanten, the South Island communities of Rakaia and Gore (Tapanui) are benefiting enormously from bulb propagation for export to flower growers in Japan and Europe.
Mainly lilies and tulips, the bulbs travel in specially designed crates which for the past five years have been moulded out of recycled plastic in our Christchurch plant.
Prior to Viscount Plastics involvement, bulb crates were shipped in from overseas. However, such was the rate of industry growth that costs of importing these non-stacking bulb crates in the quantities required was approaching non-viable.
Somewhat fortuitously for bulb propagators, flower growers and consumers alike, a Van Zanten representative quite literally dropped by our Christchurch plant enquiring whether Viscount Plastics was capable of moulding plant crates. Sales Manager, David Rhodes, recalls he had no hesitation replying ‘of course!‘.
Manufacture was originally shared with a company in Europe. The 5 tonne mould owned by a German firm spent a number of years travelling back and forth across the hemispheres. Currently it is kept permanently at our Christchurch plant.
David Rhodes is keen to point out that the recycling story doesn’t stop just with the moulding of the bulb crates. He says that on reaching destinations the crates are thoroughly cleaned for re-use by bulb growers in Europe and Japan. At the end of each year’s growing season bulb crates are collected and ground up as raw material for use by plastics manufacturers in Japan and Europe.