Fonterra plastic to be turned into farm fence posts

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

The new Future Post fence posts will be available in the New Year.
The new Future Post fence posts will be available in the New Year.

Related tags Fonterra Recyclable materials

Fonterra has teamed up with New Zealand-owned start up, Future Post, to turn Anchor Light Proof milk bottles and other soft plastics into fence posts for farms.

Fonterra Brands New Zealand’s (FBNZ) sustainability and environment manager, Larisa Thathiah, said the posts are a new way for farmers to improve their on-farm sustainability.

“This partnership provides farmers with an environmentally-friendly fencing option, made from the packaging of our farmers’ milk, which is pretty special,”​ Thathiah said. 

“It’s not enough to just recycle any more, 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.”

Last year, the Co-op partnered with SKYCITY hotel to turn Anchor Light Proof milk bottles into shampoo, conditioner and body lotion bottles for guests.

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Managing director of Future Post, Jerome Wenzlick, said the company is repurposing waste that could have gone to landfill and turning it in to a valuable product for consumers.

“Our partnership with Fonterra gives us access to a steady supply of raw material from the coop’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 river banks.

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

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.