The decision to build the world-class facility in Albury/Wodonga was confirmed yesterday after Pact Group Holdings Ltd, Cleanaway Waste Management Ltd and Asahi Beverages formally entered a joint venture to deliver the project. It will create dozens of direct jobs when construction starts in coming months.
It is anticipated the facility will recycle the equivalent of around 1 billion 600ml PET plastic bottles each year. The bottles will be used as a 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.
Other major environmental benefits it will 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 power part of the facility.
The $45 million facility will be located at the Nexus Precinct, 10km north of Albury/Wodonga’s CBD in NSW and will be among the first businesses located at the new industrial precinct.
Over the course of the build, the project is expected to create over 300 direct and indirect jobs, with tradespeople, engineers and technicians among the roles that need to be filled. Announcements will follow regarding the hiring of these roles.
Construction will start towards the end of the year, pending approval from Albury Council, and is expected to be fully operational by December 2021.
The plant will draw on the expertise of each member of the joint venture, which will trade as Circular Plastics Australia (PET). Cleanaway will provide the plastic to be recycled through 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.
The announcement follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the joint venture members earlier this year. 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. The project was also made possible through the support of the Department of Regional NSW.