Packaging waste innovator saveBOARD opened its first recycling facility in Australia on 21 February. Located at Warragamba, in Sydney’s southwest, the new $5.5 million facility has the capacity to process up to 4000 tonnes of materials annually and employ up to 12 local staff to operate the plant.
Supported by the Australian Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund and the NSW Government’s ‘Waste Less, Recycle More’ initiative, the facility is the first of its kind in Australia to manufacture construction products entirely from used beverage cartons that would otherwise end up in landfill. This sturdy, lightweight alternative to conventional plasterboard, plywood or particle board is also 100% recyclable.
The industry-led project is the first collaboration between Tetra Pak and SIG Combibloc in Australia under the umbrella of the Global Recycling Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (GRACE) and is a joint initiative with saveBOARD and its partner Freightways.
At the opening ceremony of the facility co-hosted by saveBOARD and Tetra Pak, saveBOARD CEO and co-founder Paul Charteris said: “It’s exciting to finally be opening the first saveBOARD facility in Australia, supporting the circular economy to make a real impact to the environment and climate change. This facility will enhance the construction industry’s drive towards more sustainable construction practices, while also showing consumers the importance and value in recycling and opting for recyclable products in their day-to-day lives.”
Tetra Pak Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Andrew Pooch said: “We’re incredibly proud to be part of this sustainability journey alongside saveBOARD, as we look at even more innovative ways we can convert carton packaging waste into useful applications, and contribute to a strong circular economy.
“This is part of our ongoing sustainability commitment, as we look to enable more packaging to become 100 per cent recyclable or reusable, in line with the 2025 National Packaging Targets. By partnering with saveBOARD, we’re showing that innovation in recycling comes in many forms, and consumers can see first-hand how they can contribute to a more sustainable future,” Mr Pooch said.
The launch of the first saveBOARD facility in Australia marks an important step in advancing the infrastructure needed to support carton recycling and enable circular economy locally. saveBOARD will be opening another recycling facility in Campbellfield, Victoria in late 2024 after receiving $1 million in funding from the Victorian Government.
A pile of collected used beverage cartons ready to be reprocessed into low carbon building materials at the new saveBOARD facility at Warragamba, NSW.
saveBOARD co-founder Paul Charteris during a site tour at the new recycing facility at Warragamba, NSW.