Australia’s largest PET recycling plant under construction

(Photo: Ari Herzog/flickr)

Construction is now underway on a recycling facility in Albury-Wodonga that will see the equivalent of one billion PET plastic bottles recycled each year.

Environment Minister and Federal Farrer Member Sussan Ley marked the official start of construction by turning the first sod on-site at the project, which is being delivered in a joint venture between Asahi Beverages, Pact Group Holdings and Cleanaway Waste Management.

“The project is integral to ensuring the successful delivery of Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Targets. It will create local jobs during construction and permanent jobs when it begins operations,” Ley said.

The $45 million plant – in the Nexus Precinct 10 kilometres outside the Albury CBD in NSW – is set to be fully operational by October, two months earlier than expected owing to Albury Council approving the project ahead of schedule.

Raw plastic material recycled by the plant each year will be equivalent to one billion 600 millilitre PET plastic bottles, and will be used to produce more than 20,000 tonnes of new recycled PET bottles and food packaging, making it the largest end-to-end rPet plant in Australia.

According to Pact Group Managing Director and CEO Sanjay Dayal, the plant will increase the amount of locally sourced and recycled PET produced in Australia by two thirds – from around 30,000 tonnes currently to over 50,000 tonnes per annum.

“This project would not have been possible without increased demand for locally-processed recycled content from forward-thinking Australian companies who are keen to meet Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Targets,” he said.

Dayal added that Australians’ attitudes to recycling are shifting, with a recent poll from research company Quantum showing three quarters of Australians wanted more locally recycled content in their packaging.

“Industry collaboration is critical to being able to build a local circular economy. We are excited to see our first venture together coming to life – and look forward to many more in the future,” he said.

Read more at Waste Management Review