Hamilton plastic recycler finalist in state award

Hamilton business Sustainable Plastic Solutions (SPS), which partnered with Southern Grampians Shire Council this year on a haybale twine recycling project, is a finalist in the 7News 2023 Community Achievement Awards.

Owned and operated by Matthew and Elisha Nettleton, SPS is a finalist in the Regional Development Victoria (RDV) Leadership and Innovation category recognising its significant contribution to environmental sustainability.

SPS is the only remote, regional recycling company in Victoria that pelletises and compounds materials. After just eight months of operation from its shed in Hensley Park (opposite the airport), they have already processed 3,000 tonnes of plastic into high-quality resin.

Elisha Nettleton said the business, which drew from Matthew’s 15 years’ experience in plastics recycling, was addressing hard-to-recycle items including on-farm plastics.

“By recycling farm waste plastics like tarps and haybale twine into resin, we can empower other businesses to make eco-friendly product solutions for eco-conscious consumers,” said Elisha. “These plastic products include everything from garden lattice to replaceable shearing shed floors. When the items are end of life, they can simply be recycled by us again.”

Elisha explained that most plastics recycling was carried out in Melbourne and Sydney, which mostly suited city businesses.

“We have set up our operation in regional Victoria to meet the needs of regional industries, especially agriculture, a sector that produces large amounts of plastic waste that would normally end up in landfill,” she said.

Backed by several local farming families in the early stages, Elisha said the business has received “a tremendous amount of community support.”

“You don’t get that kind of grass roots support in the city,” said Elisha who, along with her husband, originate from Canada.

Elisha said the business had set a goal for the next 12 months to process 6,000 tonnes of plastics and up to 20,000 tonnes in two years. They also aim to be the first net-zero recycler in Australia.

The 7News Community Achievement Awards encourage, acknowledge, and reward the valuable contributions that individuals, communities, and businesses make throughout Victoria and recognise their success and achievements. There are eight categories in this year’s awards, with the winners to be announced at a gala dinner on December 1 in Melbourne.

“Considering we’ve only been processing for eight months, we were very happy to be recognised early in the piece,” she said. “We are expanding rapidly; training up people and already running 24-hours a day.”

Council’s Sustainability Lead, Juan Donis said earlier this year council partnered with SPS to trial a haybale twine collection.

“Local farmers dropped off a total of 1.8 tonnes of haybale twine to the Hamilton transfer station and we transported the twine to SPS for recycling,” explained Mr Donis.

“The trial was well supported by local farmers, and we look forward to partnering with SPS on future projects that contribute to council’s goal to foster a circular economy. We congratulate Matthew and Elisha on being announced an award finalist; it’s an achievement very well deserved.”

/Public Release. View in full here.