Imagine taking plastics off a farm, such as baling twine, nets, covers and fertiliser bags, melting them down, and using the extract to make products such as fence posts and shipping pallets.
It's that idea which has seen La Trobe University in Bendigo and Richie Technology (Rtec) combine to experiment with new technology on the effectiveness of recycling at a fraction of the standard price.
If successful, it could mean plastic previously sent off-shore for processing could be melted down locally and used to make new products.
The machine they are using for this process was developed by Rtec.
Rtec founding director Dr William Ritchie said the equipment currently used to recycle plastic could be expensive and quite large.
This made it hard for small communities to practice recycling, he said.
"Disposing of plastic waste can be a significant additional cost for farmers, and we know that many in the industry either send plastic to landfill or even burn it because they don't have another option," Dr Ritchie said.
"The technology will allow farmers to not only recycle this plastic, but potentially benefit from selling the recycled product back to plastics manufacturers."
He said the hope behind their machines would be to cut down on the cost of production and condense the space a recycling machine could operate in.
"A few years ago we set out to look at ways of recycling a different way," Dr Ritchie said.
"We developed new technology that can recycle plastic waste in one go so if you have got things like strings, wraps, bags, regardless of a bit of light contamination or mixed pollen, you can put it through the machine.
"You can basically liquify it and from that you can make new products."
Dr Ritchie said to help get a better understanding of what materials could be used and how many times plastic could be broken down, specifically in the agricultural sector, and remade, they consulted La Trobe University.
He said the ultimate goal would be to make the re-used products in an environmentally safe manner, which was cost effective and could be commercially sustainable when selling on to consumers.
La Trobe University professor Dr Ing Kong is the deputy head of the engineering department and is working closely with Rtec to study which materials can be recycled safely.
Dr Kong said she was passionate about this project given the "slow" speed Australia is taking in combatting the affects of plastic on the environment.
The partner organisations recently received a $145,000 grant from the Victorian Government's circular economy markets fund to help with the project.
Dr Kong said she was excited to be a part of the work Rtec is doing as the study of plastics and their harm to the environment is a passion of hers.
"This is something that is not just for the research for the university but is also my personal interest," she said.
"How can we be more sustainable and how can we re-use (plastic).
"As we know we use too much plastic anyway, something has to be done to stop this critical issue and not much research has been going on in regional areas about how to recycle."
Dr Ritchie said the partnership between Rtec and La Trobe University would last for at least the rest of the year.
Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with the Bendigo Advertiser app. Click here to download.