Construction is underway on a recycling facility in Albury-Wodonga that will see the equivalent of around 1 billion PET plastic bottles recycled each year.
Environment Minister and Federal Member for Farrer, the Hon. Sussan Ley MP, 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 $45 million plant – in the Nexus Precinct 10km outside the Albury CBD in NSW – is set to be operational by October, two months earlier than expected owing to Albury Council approving the project ahead of schedule. The facility will trade as Circular Plastics Australia PET.
Excavation of the site has already started, sheds to house more than a dozen diggers have been erected and dozens of jobs will be created as construction ramps up in coming weeks.
The raw plastic material that the new plant will recycle each year is equivalent to 1 billion 600 ml 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. It 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 according to Pact Group.
The plant will also reduce Australia’s reliance on virgin plastic and the amount of recycled plastic Australia imports. Solar energy will power part of the facility.
The project was made possible with the assistance of almost $5 million from the Environmental Trust as part of the NSW Government’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy, with the support of the Department of Regional NSW and the Australian Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund.
“Asahi Beverages is excited to be partnering with Pact and Cleanaway to make this investment and create more jobs for the Albury-Wodonga region,” Asahi Beverage’s Group CEO, Mr Robert Iervasi, said. “This will be a world-class facility that helps transform Australia’s recycling capacity and the Albury-Wodonga region should be proud of its contribution to manufacturing and recycling in Australia. Along with our beverage manufacturing plant in Albury, the new plant is part of our long-term commitment to the region.”