Breakthroughs in onshore plastic recycling in Australia

We're investing in the technology and facilities with our partners right here in Australia to close the loop on plastic waste. Here's how we're doing it.

Industry Updates - Resource Recovery

March 21, 2022

Highlights

Cleanaway is delivering the recycling solutions to close the loop on plastic waste. It's called the circular economy for plastic and we're investing in the technology and facilities with our partners right here in Australia to make it happen.

Highlights

Cleanaway is delivering the recycling solutions to close the loop on plastic waste. It's called the circular economy for plastic and we're investing in the technology and facilities with our partners right here in Australia to make it happen.

Did you know Australians use nearly 2 million tonnes of plastic polymers every year, and that most of it goes to landfill?

Cleanaway is delivering the recycling solutions to close the loop on plastic waste. It’s called the circular economy for plastic and we’re investing in the technology and facilities with our partners right here in Australia to make it happen. Here’s how it works.

Cleanaway operates the sorting facilities that processes the material from commingled recycling bins and container deposit schemes. Once sorted into the different plastic types (also known as polymers), we work with our partners to use mechanical and chemical recycling to turn those polymers into something new that can be used again and again.

Your drink bottle is made from PET plastic. Cleanaway is working with Asahi, Coca-cola and PACT group to go bottle to bottle, so the next drink you buy is made from the same plastic as the last one. Our PET recycling facility in Albury is the largest in Australia, with another being built in Melbourne.

Harder plastics like ice cream tubs are made from PP while milk and laundry liquid bottles are HDPE. Both of these plastics will be recycled at a facility we are currently building in Melbourne, to be recycled into packaging for new consumer products.

Soft plastics like your chip packets and bread bags are LDPE, which are much harder to mechanically recycle. Today it is collected at most supermarket to be recycled into materials such as a park bench.

We’re working on an Australian first study with our partners, Qenos to use chemical recycling for soft plastics so even that can be recycled into new food grade packaging. This new advanced form of recycling could mean we’re able to recycle plastic that would otherwise go to landfill. It also means we can preserve more of earth’s finite resources. For Cleanaway, that future is now for Australia’s onshore circular economy for plastic. Everyone has a role to play; from consumers to retailers, manufacturers and recyclers.

We’re all working to make a sustainable future possible together. Contact us to learn more.