Albury/Wodonga is set to receive a $45 million investment boost following the decision yesterday by joint venture partners, Cleanaway, Pact Group and Asahi Beverages to build a world-class PET plastic pelletising facility at the Nexus Precinct, 10km north of Albury/Wodonga’s CBD.
The facility is anticipated to recycle approximately 1 billion PET plastic bottles each year, reducing Australia’s reliance on virgin plastic, the amount of plastic waste sent overseas and the amount of recycled plastic Australia imports.
The recycled plastic will be used as raw material to manufacture new bottles and food and beverage packaging in Australia. This is expected to result in a two-thirds increase in the amount of locally sourced and recycled PET produced in Australia, from around 30,000 tonnes to over 50,000 tonnes each year.
Cleanaway’s CEO and Managing Director Vik Bansal said, “This partnership will create valuable raw materials from the recyclables we collect and sort to help make a sustainable future possible. This partnership has been made possible by the NSW Government and I’d like to thank Minister Matt Kean for his continued support. This is a natural extension of our value chain and will expand our footprint of prized infrastructure assets.”
The facility will draw on the expertise of each member of the joint venture. Cleanaway will provide the plastic feedstock from its collection and sorting network, Pact will provide technical and packaging expertise while Asahi Beverages and Pact will buy the recycled plastic from the facility to use in their packaging.
CEO of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation Brooke Donnelly welcomed the initiative and said, “A huge congratulations to Pact Group, Asahi Beverages and Cleanaway on reaching this important milestone. This new partnership is a real testament to the powerful impact of collaboration.”
“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 demand for 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.”
Construction will start towards the end of the year, pending approval from Albury Council, and the facility is expected to be fully operational by December 2021. Solar PV panels will be installed on site to lower the facility’s carbon footprint.
Over 300 direct and indirect jobs are expected to be created, with tradespeople, engineers and technicians among the roles that need to be filled. Announcements regarding the hiring of these roles will follow.
The project was supported with nearly $5 million from the Environmental Trust as part of the NSW Government’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy and was made possible through the support of the Department of Regional NSW.
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