Circular Plastics Australia (PET) has been named as one of The Australian Financial Review’s Sustainability Leaders for 2023 in manufacturing and consumer goods for its two state-of-the-art PET plastic bottle recycling facilities.
The joint venture partnership between Pact Group, Cleanaway Waste Management, Asahi Beverages and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners opened the first of its PET plastic recycling facilities in Albury NSW last year, with the second plant in Altona North in Melbourne due to commence operations later this year.
When fully operational, the two plants, which are operated by Pact Group, will have the combined capacity to recycle around two billion 600ml PET beverage bottles each year, diverting tens of thousands of tonnes of plastic waste from landfill.
The bottles are collected through container deposit schemes and kerbside recycling bins, and are processed into high-quality, food-grade resin which is used to manufacture new beverage bottles and food packaging.
The facilities are designed to produce about 20,000 tonnes of recycled PET plastic each a year. The Albury plant is the largest end-to-end PET recycling facility in Australia, a title it will share with the Altona North site once that is complete. Both sites will create a closed loop solution for plastic beverage bottles where they are made, used, collected and recycled to be given another life.
These new facilities enable Australia to recycle and manufacture our PET plastic beverage bottles and packaging locally, without the need to import plastic material for new packaging.
CPA (PET) leverages the expertise of each partner to deliver a closed loop for PET beverage bottles. Cleanaway collects, sorts and delivers plastic waste to the recycling facilities. Pact operates the recycling facilities and uses the recycled resin to make new food packaging, while Asahi Beverages and Coca-Cola use the recycled resin to make new beverage bottles.
Solar panels are incorporated into the design of the facilities to power some of the operations, and water treatment units and rainwater tanks will reuse and recycle as much water on site as possible.
The facilities received support from the Australian Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund and the NSW Government’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative (for the Albury plant) and the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria – Recycling Modernisation Fund (for the Altona North plant).