THE first-ever factory specialising in recycling of wood and plastic material to make a high-grade timber alternative was opened by Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki in Lautoka yesterday.
WPC Industries (Fiji) Ltd produces a versatile and high quality timber which is a composite of recycled wood and plastic for walls, deckings, ceilings, fencing, and flooring.
Company director Vijay Mani, a former resident of Lautoka who has returned home after 18 years in New Zealand and Australia, said the factory would be the first of its kind in the Pacific region.
Mr Cawaki said the spillover effect of the company would be very beneficial for the Lautoka environment as they recycle plastic which would otherwise be thrown away as rubbish.
"These are investments which we must support, the product is also environmentally friendly and fire-proof," said Cdr Cawaki.
Mr Mani said the hotel industry was their main target but would also supply the domestic residential market.
"The advantage of this product is that it is termite proof, water proof, does not bend from over exposure to the sun and is fire proof.
"Our hotels use it a lot for their furniture and water or jetty decks because of its ability to withstand sea water.
"But they import it from Australia, this is made right here in Lautoka," he said.
The company has invested about $1million in setting up the factory.