From plastic to posts


Fonterra has teamed up with Kiwi-owned start up, Future Post™, to turn milk bottles and other soft plastics into fence posts for farms. 

Anchor Light Proof™ milk bottles will soon be appearing on farms across New Zealand, but you won’t find them in the fridge.

Fonterra Brands New Zealand’s (FBNZ) Sustainability and Environment Manager, Larisa Thathiah, says the posts are an innovative new way for farmers to improve their on-farm sustainability.

“This partnership provides farmers with a more environmentally-friendly fencing option, made from the packaging of our farmers’ milk, which is pretty special,” says Larisa. 

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

The Future Post partnership is the latest waste reduction initiative from Fonterra. Last year, the Co-op partnered with SKYCITY to turn Anchor™ Light Proof™ milk bottles into shampoo, conditioner and body lotion bottles for guests.

Managing Director of Future Post, Jerome Wenzlick, says it’s great to have support from Fonterra and he’s looking forward to developing other sustainable products for farmers.

“What we’re doing is repurposing waste that could have gone to landfill and turning it into a valuable product for consumers,” says Jerome.

“Our partnership with Fonterra gives us access to a steady supply of raw material from the Co-op’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.

Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell and Future Post Managing Director Jerome Wenzlick revealed the first peak at the posts at Fonterra’s Open Gates event in Karaka.