Circular Economy Snapshots

 Connecting South Australian Growers with Australian Manufacturers

Through the 2016-17 financial year, Sustaining Endeavour’s Recycling and Rebate service successfully supported a circular economy that saw plastic resources circulating between South Australian growers in our agricultural landscapes, an Adelaide recycler, Plastics Granulating Services, PGS and seven Australian manufacturers who sponsored the service.  The Snapshots below reveal plastic waste products and new recycled plastic products that served to drive the circular economy that Sustaining Endeavour supported. Unfortunately, with the closure of PGS there is presently no alternative recycler accepting the amounts or types of plastic waste that PGS were able to process or who offer financial rebates in return for plastic waste.

Sustaining Endeavour thanks continuing sponsoring manufacturers: Netafim Australia, one of Australia’s most popular brands of drip-tube and GroGuard, an innovative and highly recognised manufacturer of vine guards and tree-guards. Sustaining Endeavour is now engaging stakeholders in alternative circular economy solutions with potential to take plastic farm waste generated across South Australia and to convert this through local economies into new plastic products, which themselves can continue to be recycled at end-of-life.

McLaren Vale waste Polypipe returns to the McLaren Vale as Polymer-coated Vine Posts


The first photo above shows one of hundreds of recoiled bundles of old drip tube (mainly polyethylene) retrieved by growers in the McLaren Vale region over the 2016-17FY. The second photo shows dripperline following shredding by Plastics Granulating Services, PGS. Various contaminants such as soil residue can be observed. Other contaminants include components in drippers, joiners and pressure compensating elements. PGS were able to covert this shredded waste stream to a high value polymer product used by a variety of Australian manufacturing businesses including those manufacturing vine-posts. 

Read Sustaining Endeavour’s case study about how end-of-life drip tube from the McLaren Vale returned back to the region as fully recyclable vine posts. d’Arenberg, an iconic McLaren Vale Grower, share their experience of the productivity benefits achieved by using Woodshield vine posts here


Thanks to GroGuard, Langhorne Creek and McLaren Vale Old Vine Guards return to their regions as water-saving products


The first photo above shows a portion of over eight thousand old polypropylene waste vine guards retrieved by vineyard staff at Treasury Wine Estates, TWE Langhorne Creek vineyards and transported to PGS for recycling, thanks to Recycling Ambassadors Linley Morros and Scott Jolley. TWE replaced the waste vine guards which had reached end of life with superior GroGuard Vine Guards manufactured by the Melbourne based GroGuard.  Sustaining Endeavour commenced facilitating the recycling of vine guards in response to GroGuard coming on board as a Sponsoring Manufacturer and their desire to see their own product recycled at end of life, as well as vine guards manufactured by others.  A similar amount of old vine guards was also collected from a McLaren Vale grower and delivered to PGS by Sustaining Endeavour. 

Vine guards are typically reused a number of times that vary depending on how well they are designed and manufactured. Given the lightweight nature of vine guards, if they are not correctly retrieved and recycled at end of life, they can become airborne and contribute to litter in agricultural landscapes. So Sustaining Endeavour are quite proud to have facilitated recycling of a modest two tonnes of South Australia’s waste vine guards in our first year of operations.

The second photo shows the high grade granulated recycled polypropylene manufactured by PGS that Adelaide based manufacturers used in manufacturing a range of new products, in this case the Greenwell Watersaver manufactured by HR Products.