Hot demand for construction board made from packaging waste

Kiwi builders can now replace plywood, particle board and plaster board, with low carbon, environmentally sustainable construction boards made from industrial packaging waste.

Next year used beverage cartons, soft plastics and coffee cups will be added to the mix to make the boards.

The waste-to-building material technology has been brought to New Zealand by SaveBoard, the company recently opening up its first plant at Te Rapa, near Hamilton. The facility will divert 4,000 tonnes of waste from landfill every year to produce 200,000 construction boards.

SaveBoard makes an impact resistant board with similar performance to plywood, OSB (oriented strand board) and particle board that can be used for interior and exterior applications. The technology was developed in the United States where it has been used for more than a decade.

“Since the initiative was announced in March, demand has gone through the roof and more than 300 architect and construction companies have registered to know when SaveBoard products will be available,” says company CEO and co-founder Paul Charteris.

“The moons have aligned for the new product,” he says, adding that Covid-19 has affected the international supply chain for imported building materials, while there has also been a “reduction in local manufacturing with James Hardie closing a division in New Zealand”.

SaveBoard takes delivery of its waste-to-building material machinery

That with climate change has “driven the industry to seek out low carbon building materials”.

“Each year, more than 400,000 tonnes of packaging waste is sent to landfill. Packaging material is a highly engineered product that is a resource we can upcycle into a building product.

“Everything that goes into SaveBoard is locally sourced. It is made right here in Hamilton from industrial packaging waste from companies like Fonterra and Frucor who want to meet ambitious waste reduction targets.

“SaveBoard is a healthy product made with zero water, zero glues, zero chemicals and zero VOC emissions or formaldehydes. It meets all obligations under the Building Act, reduces waste to landfill and achieves up to a 90% reduction in carbon.”