New PET plastic recycling facility will be built in Melbourne’s West

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A cross-industry alliance will construct a new PET plastic recycling facility in Altona North, which will be the largest of its kind in Victoria once completed.

The facility will be built and operated by a joint venture between Pact Group, Cleanaway, Asahi Beverages, and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) and will significantly boost the state’s PET recycling capacity.

Construction on the plant, which will be a cross-industry solution, will begin in early 2022 and end in 2023 in an industrial district on Horsburgh Drive.

The construction phase is expected to generate more than 100 local jobs, with a further 45 permanent positions to be created upon completion. The project’s capital cost is expected to be around $50 million.

Sussan Ley, Federal Minister for the Environment, and Lily D’Ambrosio, Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, announced $6 million in joint funding for the project from the Australian Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF) and the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund.

“Funding and facilitating projects like this will help Victoria reach our goal of diverting 80% of waste sent to landfill by 2030, improving our circular economy and tackling climate change,” Minister D’Ambrosio said.

The new PET recycling factory in Victoria will be the joint venture’s second, following the completion of a comparable facility in Albury-Wodonga, which will be fully operational next month.

Each plant will be able to process the equivalent of 1 billion plastic bottles annually, which will be collected through Container Deposit Schemes and kerbside recycling.

Both will use cutting-edge sorting, washing, decontamination, and extrusion technologies to produce more than 20,000 tonnes of high-quality recycled PET bottles and food packaging.

Peter West, CCEP Vice President and General Manager Australia, Pacific and Indonesia, said the company was proud of its continued investment in Australia’s circular economy.

“Our vision is for our bottles to be part of a closed loop where they are used, collected and given another life,” Mr West continued.

“This plant will work to complete this loop, lessen the national rPET shortage and create new jobs for Victorian workers. It is truly an exciting milestone in our sustainability ambitions.”

Image credit: https://www.ccamatil.com/au/News-and-insights/News/2022/01/Game-changing-recycling-plant-to-be-built-in-Melbo