Become plastic neutral now!    Individuals, groups, companies    Get Involved
ABC News Article : “Louise Hardman’s Shruder invention recycles plastic cleaned from ocean”

ABC News Article : “Louise Hardman’s Shruder invention recycles plastic cleaned from ocean”

[ABC ARTICLE – By Halina Baczkowski  Posted updated 

Louise Hardman is a water person, she loves anything to do with it, be it leisure, sport or work.

It was her specialisation in marine turtles and birds while working as a zoologist that eventually led her to cleaning plastic from the world’s largest body of water.

“When I saw a young green turtle back in 1992 die from ingesting plastic, that was the catalyst for me to want to stop plastics going into the ocean,” she said.

“It wasn’t until 2016 when I kick-started the business that finally, I could put it into practice.”

Plastic Collective Joins UN Sea of Solutions 2021

Plastic Collective Joins UN Sea of Solutions 2021

Plastic Collective Joins UN Sea of Solutions 2021

Plastic Collective’s Steve Hardman recently joined the United Nations Environment Programme’s Sea of Solutions annual plastic waste conference organized in conjunction with COBSEA, to talk about Sustainable Financing for a Waste-free Future.

This session showcased different funding sources and mechanisms available to different stakeholders in South-East Asia with a focus on sustainable, inclusive, and transformative finance mechanisms. The session brought together perspectives from a range of organizations working with businesses, governments and communities to improve the marine environment and reduce plastic pollution.

Steve was able to draw upon Plastic Collective’s pioneering role in the development and utilization of the Verra Plastic Waste Reduction Standard and its plastic credit system to explain how plastic credits are becoming a sustainable financing mechanism for circular infrastructure required by plastic collection and recycling initiatives resulting in less plastic waste.

Steve also emphasized the critical role that corporates and their brands play in generating demand for plastic credits which fund plastic collection and recycling projects and what are best practices for brands using plastic credits in a transparent and substantiated manner, especially when it comes to making sustainability claims, commitments, public statements and storytelling.

Reducing Marine Plastic Pollution with Innovation & Action

Mobilizing investments is key in transforming markets and societies towards a waste-free future by boosting the economic value of waste materials and de-risking investment in circular innovation. Innovative financing calls for a combination of public and private mechanisms, from large-scale grants and loans by multilateral development banks, private sector incubators for innovative business models, plastic credit schemes to catalyze change, to microfinancing for community- based action. 

Banks and multilaterals must be part of the solution. Financial institutions in the region are starting to look at environmental sources of risks while deciding which loans to approve. They are scrutinizing what clients are doing to ensure a higher level of accountability. Sustainability- linked bonds, a relatively new kind of instrument that carry no restrictions on how proceeds are used, are seen as useful for galvanizing green finance.

The concept of credits is now moving beyond emissions to one of the most pressing forms of pollution: plastic waste. While the idea of buying and selling plastic pollution credits is gaining traction, no harmonized standards, as instituted for carbon credits in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, currently exist for these schemes. Nevertheless, plastic accounting for neutrality and credit schemes are evolving and taking shape very quickly: getting this right for all relevant stakeholders and achieving a harmonized approach will further support efforts to achieve circularity.

During this session, experts agreed on increasing the need to review and introduce financial mechanisms that will underpin the plastic credit market. Public-private partnerships and blended finance could help back circular economy innovation and reduce the risk for investors. Private backing of projects will increase viability and facilitate the adoption of plastic waste collection and recycling initiatives.

A lack of capital is a significant barrier to creating a profitable plastics recycling market in emerging economies. Projects that are smaller in scale, in remote locations such as smaller islands, further suffer from inadequate financing which prevents them from overcoming the ‘tyranny of distance’. These projects are often carried out in remote locations, and the logistics and transport costs involved in getting plastic waste to central recycling facilities in urban markets are proving too costly – especially during the recent pandemic. Companies and brands interested in purchasing credit offsets should consider providing upfront capital to better support rural and peri-urban waste management initiatives which can help various types of ecosystems and also reduce climate change in the longer term.

Biodiversity & The Plastic Value Chain

Initiatives to come up with new standards and guidelines for plastic credit schemes should also build on the lessons learnt from carbon offsets. It is crucial to prevent greenwashing. Companies should credibly and transparently quantify and report on their plastic footprints. Panelists at this session sounded a note of caution on solely relying on having new plastic credit schemes, arguing that this method could undermine national policies to come up with other complementary strong mitigation efforts. The speakers also cautioned that simply ‘piggybacking’ on existing carbon trading mechanisms may not be wise; the plastic credit schemes need to be closely looked at to ensure lessons learned from the experience gained from carbon credit schemes are taken on board to arrive at a plastic credit scheme that will benefit all stakeholders, including the informal sector. Having a social component on the scheme is crucial. Waste collectors and local communities should be paid and treated fairly. There is a need to reframe the narrative around plastic credits and make sure that people are at the center of the conversation.

You can read more about the Sea Circular Project and Sea of Solutions Conference outcomes here.

And find out how to become plastic neutral here, or subscribe to our blog for the latest news on how we can reduce the tons of plastic going to waste and ocean plastic waste overall for ocean or human health now and in future generations.

Coffs Coast’s Louise Hardman nominated as NSW ‘Local Hero’ Australian of the Year

Coffs Coast’s Louise Hardman nominated as NSW ‘Local Hero’ Australian of the Year

Coffs Coast’s Louise Hardman nominated as NSW ‘Local Hero’ Australian of the Year

Fig 1. Louise starting out in her garage, shredding plastic milk bottles from the Shruder.

A number of years ago, Louise Hardman, a 22 year old passionate zoologist, was working as the Project Officer for the newly established Solitary Islands Marine Park Reserve. While leading a research team to rescue, tag and rehabilitate turtles in the Coffs Harbour area, she discovered a small green turtle lying on the banks of Wooli River of Yuraygir National Park; a pristine area within the Marine Reserve. The turtle survived for 3 days, but unfortunately died from ingesting large amounts of plastic debris caught in the seagrass. This tragedy inspired Louise to start her search for solutions to prevent plastics from entering the ocean and after 25 years, Louise began the social enterprise Plastic Collective. 

Fig 2. In 1992 Louise Hardman and Greg Pickering @Dolphin Marine Conservation Park, rescuing a marine turtle which died from ingesting mixed plastics. 

Louise had a mission to prevent plastic entering the oceans, which would take her all over the world, providing education, training and infrastructure to disadvantaged remote and regional communities to address the plastic pollution problem.  By focusing on changing attitudes, Louise believed plastic wasn’t the issue, it was how people treated plastic, she wanted to transform the perception of plastic from “waste” into “resource”. Believing if something has value, you are less likely to throw it away.  This led to the development of Plastic Collective’s proprietary Shruder; an innovative mobile plastic shredder and extruding machine! 

After pitching and winning the Coffs Coast Start Up Competition in 2017, Louise and engineers Emalte developed the prototype machinery and training programs to transform  discarded plastic material into profitable resources for both communities and companies.   Over the next 2 years Plastic Collective delivered three Shruder pilot programs and training programs to remote communities including Ecobarge Cleanseas. Whitsundays, Sea Communities, Les Village North Bali; and Reef Check Malaysia, Mantanani Island, Borneo. These programs and machinery provided communities with the resources and training to address the plastic pollution problem in their environment as well as a marketplace for communities to sell their valuable recycled plastic.

Fig 3. Louise Hardman and Mark Wolf (Emalte), delivering Shruder pilot program and training to Mantanani Island, Borneo, 2019.

These pilot programs helped Louise secure further funding, and in late 2019, partnered with Earthwatch Australia to deliver a project with the Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation as part of the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation environment program.  

Shortly after this PC was awarded a $2.49 Million Australian Government, Dept of Innovation and Science CRC-p grant to research and develop the ‘Shruder Recycling Station’ and a more comprehensive system with Plastic Credits. This was a huge milestone for Louise and Plastic Collective as the team grew from 4 to 18 people, located from London, Bangkok, US and Australia (HQ).  

Strong partnerships for this grant included  Southern Cross University, South Pole, and Emalte International,  to research, develop and deliver pilot Shruder Recycling Stations which will be installed in Bowraville, NSW and Gulf of Carpentaria, Qld. By working closely with regional and remote local Indigenous communities in Bowraville and the Gulf, the projects will empower local communities to run a profitable business in resource recovery, and connect their remote areas to the global plastic credit market.  

The Bowraville project is being led by local organisation, Miimi Mothers Aboriginal Corporation, for the Nambucca River catchment area where there are low rates of recycling, with over 85% of plastic materials currently being sent to landfill.  As local regional landfills are rapidly filling, a new plastic economy is required to align with the circular economy.

Louise’s goal is to provide every remote and regional community with the knowledge, tools and resources to eliminate waste and become stewards of their environment, develop positive economic growth for their communities.  

NSW Australian of the Year award ceremony will occur on the 9th November, 2020 in Sydney. The winners from each of the categories will be announced to join other state winners for the final Australian of the Year ceremony on the 25th January, 2021.  Each state will live stream their awards ceremony on FB

For more information contact Louise Hardman,  Founder of Plastic Collective.
E | 
W |

Click on image below to read more about the
Nominations for NSW 2021 Australian of the Year Award
03/11/20: Illawarra Mercury:

Plastic Fantastic: A New Resource Recovery Centre Planned for the Mid North Coast [Coast Beat Article]

Plastic Fantastic: A New Resource Recovery Centre Planned for the Mid North Coast [Coast Beat Article]

Plastic Fantastic: A New Resource Recovery Centre Planned for the Mid North Coast [Coast Beat Article]

“Used plastic from Mid North Coast households and businesses will soon be reclaimed and repurposed at a new resource recovery centre in the Nambucca Valley. Coffs Harbour based company Plastic Collective has set the wheels in motion to establish the centre at Bowraville’s old butter factory. Coastbeat met with Plastic Collective founder Louise Hardman to hear how this innovative project is coming to life.”…

Shruder MkII

Shruder MkII

THE SHRUDER (™) (pronounced ‘Shroo-der’) designed by Louise Hardman and manufactured in Coffs Harbour, Australia was adapted from Dave Hakken’s Precious Plastic modular machines in 2016. Two machines – a shredder and extruder are integrated into one portable unit. Purposely adapted to be easily transportable, the machinery fits into a standard 6×4 trailer and weighs 100kg. The Shruder is light enough to transported to allow access to multiple plastic waste collection points. It can also be powered by either mains power (single phase) or via a renewable solar energy.

Designed specifically for remote locations the Shruder uses industry standard “off the shelf” components to ensure simplicity of maintenance, long life, reliability and durability. The system is plug and play with all electrical connectors being uniquely keyed for fail safe connectivity.  The Shruder is engineered with both performance and safety in mind. Capable of shredding 5kg of plastic/hour (1 tonne/ month), and extruding up to 120 m / hr (or 20km / month).  The Shruder can process raw shredded plastic material, used in building, household recycled items and even houses, as well as extrusion cord or filament.

Shruder Mark II was released May, 2018

Subscribe To The Plastic Collective Newsletter

Get the latest news and info about plastic recycling, becoming plastic neutral and sustainable development. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!