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Jan 11, 2021

The end of polystyrene fish bins? Havelock North student's sustainable solution

A former Havelock North High School student is helping the fisheries industry walk the talk when it comes to sustainability, developing a prototype alternative to polystyrene packaging bins.

Sam Wixon

Eighteen-year-old Sam Wixon has been hard at work for the past two years developing a sustainable alternative as part of his school business programme.

"My dad was working on a cardboard sleeve to go around some polystyrene and we were talking about how New Zealand talks about its sustainable fishing industry.

"And yet we're packing all of our export fish into polystyrene which is one of the most damaging items you can use."

The first step for Wixon was researching what existing alternatives were out there.

A "strong Ngāi Tahu boy", he also wanted to bring in his family history to the project.

"I looked back at the ways my tīpuna used to preserve the goods, the mutton birds, they used to trade and what we used in the past before plastic."

The result is a 3D printed bin with a biodegradable polymer filament, modelled of the bull kelp used to preserve mutton birds.

Read the full article here