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Plastic lasts forever – is that such a bad thing?

Plastic lasts forever – is that such a bad thing?

Many people think plastic is the worst material ever invented, assuming it’s all single use. But not only are more plastics being recycled more than once, they can be repurposed and used over and over again.

Jessica Hodge from Resourceful Living

As Jessica Hodge from Resourceful Living explains ‘recycled plastic is the new raw material. Our vision is to help consumers see that recycling is making a difference and to keep up the great work. Think outside the box and see what we can create with recycled plastic.’

Resourceful Living, located in Beresfield Port Stephens, create products from 100% post-consumer waste using recycled ‘hdpe’ and ‘ldpe’ plastics. The plastic is sourced from the East Coast of Australia and then fully manufactured in their factory for both indoor and outdoor use such as furniture, homewares and building supplies. Their methods allow for each product to be recycled up to 10 times reducing the need for new materials to be prepared, whether plastics, wood or other resources. This creates a circular and sustainable approach to the way of life for households and businesses.

Owned and operated by husband and wife team, Jessica and Geoff Hodge alongside Jess’s brother Peter, this family business is on a mission to recycle as much plastic as they can. Geoff is a mechanical, sustainable and materials engineer and Jess has a background in marketing and communications. Together they are off on a mission!

Their Mission – they choose to accept it!

There are currently over 6 billion tonnes of plastic waste in the world. 90% of that figure is not being recycled and ultimately ends up in landfill or in the ocean, polluting our environment. What a waste of a resource that lasts for hundreds of years and could have been utilised multiple times.

Did you know that there are 7 different types of plastics? They are all used to make different items in our surroundings. In less than 3 months, Jess and Geoff recycled more than 1 tonne of plastic waste and plan to do much more!

Jess said ‘we are currently completing our largest project – a full cafe fit-out of 55 tables. This equates to a total of 1.02 tonnes of post-consumer waste being recycled. We are also fitting out a mess hall of 20 tables and 40 bench seats, which again will be 1 tonne of post-consumer waste.’

‘One of the challenges is getting people onboard with recycled products. Just because it is a container now, doesn’t mean that is the size or shape it needs to stay. A container today could be a table or a chopping board tomorrow. We are excited in the creativity to make a broad range of applications for recycled plastic and looking forward to more businesses coming on board with our vision. For every employee that we hire we can recycle an additional 50 tonnes of waste per year.’

With flexibility for growth and scalability, Resourceful Living is not afraid of pivoting towards customer demand and acceptance of a recycled product:

‘We want to be a major player in the recycling, circular economy and create excitement around a recycled products. We want people to feel a sense of accomplishment from their recycling and see it in action. We have goals of recycling most types of plastic.

Together we can make change.’

Working towards a circular economy

A circular economy is the life cycle of products that can be manufactured, used, recycled and reused more than once, reducing the consumption of raw materials and ultimately recovering all waste by using recycled products in the future. Resourceful Living is undertaking a number of stages in the process including manufacture, recycle, reuse, reintroduce and repair.

Ways you can be more circular:

  • Repair products rather than replace
  • Sort your waste
  • Buy local materials
  • Exchange items rather than upgrading
  • Reduce waste by reusing

If you’d like to hear more from Jess about the manufacturing process at Resourceful Living, ask questions about the future options for plastic or to see and buy some finished products, Resourceful Living will be at the Sustainable Futures Festival on Sunday 11 September in Salamander Bay.

Jess is giving a presentation at 1.30pm and the whole family will be there all day to show us their creations for our homes or workplaces ranging from homewares to tables, artwork to kitchen benchtops. There will be items for sale so come along and support living resourcefully!

Published: 12 Sep 2022