Milk bottles turned into fence posts for farmers

Milk bottles turned into fence posts for farmers

New Zealand dairy cooperative Fonterra has teamed up with start-up Future Post to turn milk bottles and other plastics into fence posts for farms, providing farmers with a new way to improve their sustainability.

“This partnership provides farmers with an environmentally friendly fencing option, made from the packaging of our farmers’ milk, which is pretty special,” said Fonterra Brands New Zealand’s (FBNZ) Sustainability and Environment Manager, Larisa 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.”

Anchor Light Proof milk bottles are collected from the Fonterra Takanini site and transported to the Future Post Waiuku plant, where they are 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.

Future Post Managing Director Jerome Wenzlick said it’s great to have support from Fonterra and he’s looking forward to developing other sustainable products for farmers.

“What we’re doing is repurposing waste that could have gone to landfill and turning it in to a valuable product for consumers,” he said.

“Our partnership with Fonterra gives us access to a steady supply of raw material from the co-op’s own recycling initiatives. It also gives us access to a network of nationwide Farm Source stores that can sell the fence posts, and access to 10,000 farmers who are actively engaged in environmental initiatives, like fencing to keep cows out of waterways and planting along riverbanks.

“Future Post is a start-up, but we have plans for some new products in 2019, including those for non-farming sectors.”

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