Pact Group, Cleanaway and Asahi Beverages collaborate to build US$32m recycling plant in Australia

The new recycling plant will increase the amount of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic produced in Australia each year from local waste.

Pact Group, Cleanaway Waste Management and Asahi Beverages have entered a joint venture to build an AUD$45 million (US$32.3 million) recycling plant. It is anticipated the facility will recycle the equivalent of around 1 billion 600ml polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles each year.

The bottles will be used as raw material to produce new bottles plus food and beverage packaging in Australia to help close the loop on recycling. This will see the amount of locally sourced and recycled PET produced in Australia increase by two-thirds – from around 30,000 tonnes currently to over 50,000 tonnes per annum according to Pact Group.

Brooke Donnelly, CEO of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, commented: “By bringing together key roles within the plastic packaging supply chain, the partnership will ensure more PET plastic is collected, recycled and used again in future packaging – all the while reducing the strain on virgin materials and boosting a local economy with more jobs and greater opportunities. This industry-led, decisive leadership is fundamental to ensuring the successful delivery of Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Targets.”

Other environmental benefits it is said to deliver include reducing Australia’s reliance on virgin plastic, the amount of plastic waste sent overseas, and the amount of recycled plastic Australia imports. Solar energy will be used to power part of the facility.

The facility will be located at the Nexus Precinct at Albury/Wodonga, New South Wales, Australia. Construction will commence towards the end of this year, and is expected to be fully operational by December 2021.

Vik Bansal, CEO and managing director for Cleanaway, concluded: “This partnership will create valuable raw materials from the recyclables we collect and sort to help make a sustainable future possible. Being the joint operator with Tomra of the NSW Container Deposit Scheme has provided Cleanaway with confidence in the market to invest in this facility.”