Toowoomba man closes the loop to make blue plastic strapping recyclable

David Janetzki MP congratulates Graeme Snell on his initiative which is saving tonnes of plastic waste from going into landfill.

Toowoomba resident Graeme Snell is on a mission to reduce tonnes of plastic waste currently going into landfill.

Mr Snell has purchased a $15,000 granulator machine to shred the blue plastic strapping that is used to bind boxes and parcels.

The machine compresses the strapping by more than 90% and is believed to be the only one operating in Queensland.

Another company then melts the shredded plastic and turns it into small pellets which can be used to produce new plastic products such as compost bins, crates, floor mats, containers, plant pots and more.

Mr Snell began collecting blue plastic strapping from Toowoomba businesses three years ago and filled two shipping containers during that time.

“While waiting for the machine to come from China, I cut up nearly one tonne of strapping by hand – by sitting in front of the tv with a pair of scissors,” Mr Snell said.

“I’ve always been quite passionate about recycling, and I knew that blue strapping was going into landfill,” he said.

“I knew there was an end use for it as it was a very clean source of plastic, no contamination, so my biggest challenge was finding out how I could close the loop.”

Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki MP commended Mr Snell for his initiative.

“Our community is overflowing with innovation and ideas,” Mr Janetzki said.

“These little things add up to make a big improvement to sustainability,” he said.

“Anything we can do to reduce landfill and unnecessary waste should be pursued.”

Mr Snell is currently working with the University of Southern Queensland which is exploring new ways to use plastic in construction materials.

He has received enquiries from companies all over Australia, including Colgate, who are looking for someone to take their tonnes of plastic strapping.