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REMAKE project drives Australian recycling options for waste vinyl

The research project, REMAKE by the Vinyl Council of Australia has identified novel recycling applications in a bid to use the 1.2 million m² of PVC advertising banners sent to Australian landfill sites each year.

Funded by the NSW Environment Trust, the two-year project explored the challenges of previously difficult to recycle vinyl coated polyester woven fabrics to find new uses for the billboard skins.


REMAKE Design Lab event Monash University

The project has researched into cost-effective reprocessing techniques and potential end products such as safety floor mats, garden watering containers and roof tiles for commercial viability.

During the project, recycling techniques ranged from composite reprocessing with end of life vinyl products, mechanical and chemical separation alongside chemical engineering studies to evaluate recycled properties.

“The durability, weatherability and flexibility of these materials make them an excellent choice for many applications, yet they have been previously difficult to recycle. As a priority recycling area, this project has shown great potential for recovering these resources for use in new products,” explained Sophi MacMillan, Vinyl Council Chief Executive.

“Further encouragement by government and the community of circular economy programs like ours would lift recycling rates, support reprocessing of complex products as well as generate jobs and promote innovation. This would lead to a step change in diverting difficult, but quality products from landfill and a move towards greater sustainability.” 

The project has encouraged government and industry investment of more than $300,000 into PVC recycling in Australia.

MacMillan added: “While there is still more work to do, if we find a viable reprocessing technology and end product solution, then this has the potential to be replicated overseas.”

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This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [609149].

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