Partnership project supports innovation in the vinyl industry

Currently an estimated 5,000 tonnes of vinyl-coated polyester fabric such as advertising banners, truck tarpaulins and grain covers go to landfill each year in Australia. Until recently, there was no viable reprocessing technique or end market for this material, prompting the Vinyl Council of Australia to seek a way to encourage product stewardship in this part of Australia’s vinyl value chain.

Funding provided by MWRRG, as part of a pilot commercial and industrial (C&I) waste partnership project, supported the Vinyl Council to investigate the feasibility of recycling vinyl coated fabrics into roof tiles.

MWRRG provided $20,000 to the Vinyl Council and their partners: Welvic Australia, Monash University and Boral Roofing and Masonry, to design and test reprocessing techniques and make prototype roof tiles from waste vinyl-coated fabric.

Testing on the prototype tiles found they were resistant to weathering as required under applicable standards. However further development is needed for the prototypes to meet mechanical strength test requirements.

The Vinyl Council has developed a preliminary business case to understand the financial and production factors that will be required to manufacture these roof tiles economically and to assess their commercially feasibility.

Vinyl Council’s Chief Executive Sophi MacMillan said “The collaborative approach of a vinyl processor, product designers and a building product manufacturer working together to resolve a complex problem, has been very rewarding.”

“The significance of this project has been that it has shown a potential reuse of a composite material in a durable, high volume product without the need to separate the polyester fibre from the vinyl. The next step will be to coordinate industry to identify, quantify and develop required waste material feed stocks.”

The final report on the project is available on the Vinyl Council of Australia’s website

The pilot C&I waste partnership project is a response to research MWRRG commissioned in 2017 which found that C&I food and plastics waste represent two of the three highest volume C&I waste streams, have significant environmental impacts, and offer the greatest potential for additional resource recovery. The project aligns with our strategic objective of reducing waste sent to landfill as outlined in the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan 2016. Download the Metropolitan Implementation Plan snapshot here.


Last updated: 20/05/2020