Australian Paper has announced the opening of a new $90 million recycling and paper deinking plant in Victoria which has been designed to handle up to 80,000 metric tons of recovered fibre annually.
The new Latrobe Valley deinking facility has started producing recycled copy paper and will soon extend into envelope and printing papers, the company revealed in a media release.
“This plant will take up to 80,000 tonnes of wastepaper out of Australia’s landfill each year which is enough to fill a tennis court to more than twice the height of the Eureka Tower. We are committed to meeting the growing demand for premium, local recycled paper,” said Peter Williams, Chief Operating Officer, Australian Paper.
“It is a vital part of our future operations and we thank everyone who has made this investment in regional Victorian manufacturing possible. We received project funding from the Federal and Victorian Governments and letters of support for the project from Planet Ark, Green Capital and a number of our key customers. We applaud this initiative, it is a great win for recycling and it creates green jobs when we are seeing a decline in Australian manufacturing in other areas,” said Paul Klymenko, CEO of Planet Ark.
When operating at full capacity the deinking plant will produce around 50,000 metric tons of recycled-content pulp each year.
The construction phase of the plant supported almost 1,000 Australian jobs and the ongoing operation will provide employment for around 250 people, mostly in the local manufacturing and wastepaper collection industries.
“The Australian Government has specified that it will purchase 100% recycled papers from 1st July this year and we are hopeful that all Government Departments, Federal and State, will recognise the sustainability advantages of Australian-made 100% recycled paper over imports when making their purchase decisions,” added Mr Williams.
“The environmental benefits of this project are significant. Importing recycled paper made overseas only adds to Australia’s landfill and also generates significant sea-freight emissions. In contrast, removing 80,000 tonnes of wastepaper from Australia’s landfill saves up to 200,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year, which is equal to taking more than 70,000 cars off Australia’s roads. The current Australian market demand for recycled content office papers is only one third of the new plant’s capacity, so we need everyone’s help to lift the demand for Australian-made recycled content paper and do the right thing for our local environment.”
Australian Paper is owned by Nippon Paper Industries. Nippon Paper approved the construction of the $90 million waste paper recycling plant at their Maryvale Mill in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley in October 2012.