Byfusion machine inventor Peter Lewis with the appliance he
hopes to build more of in Dunedin and sell around the
world. Photo by Craig Baxter.
A recycling machine which turns plastic into bricks has
generated interest from prospective national and international
buyers, and its Dunedin inventor believes it could be the
building block of a multimillion-dollar earner for Dunedin.
Byfusion machine inventor Peter Lewis said publicity about
his device in the Otago Daily Times had reached the
far corners of the globe. Since then, he had received dozens
of inquiries from companies around the world about buying a
machine, but they wanted to see a working production model
Mr Lewis said the only model in operation at the moment was
his prototype at the Green Island landfill, which was now 8
years old and some of the components were starting to break
In order to entice potential buyers, Mr Lewis said he needed
to build a production version of the Byfusion machine,
capable of producing 250 blocks a day on a continuous basis.
This would give him a platform on which to launch the
technology to interested parties early next year.
He said a new machine would cost about $350,000 to build, and
he was looking for Dunedin businesses to invest in it so that
revenue from production of the machines would come back to
the Dunedin economy.
"We could sell about three models next year, then 10 the
next, and from there sales would just skyrocket.
"Dunedin has the capacity to build about 200 of these
machines a year, given the current engineering infrastructure
"Each one would be worth between $1.1 million and $2 million
to the city."
The prototype at the Green Island landfill can swallow most
types of raw plastic - from drink bottles to meat packaging -
where it was washed, dried and compacted into a plastic
Each brick is formed from 10kg of plastic, and could be used
for garden retaining or landscaping walls, and had other
potential uses including as shock absorbers behind crash
Consideration was being given to using the products to build
hurricane and tsunami shelters in the Pacific Islands, or
cheaper sustainable housing where wood is scarce.
The machine's main source of interest for buyers was its
ability to turn millions of tonnes of plastic, which took
many years to break down in landfills, into something of
continued use, he said.