Asahi Beverages to build A$45m recycling plant with Australian partners

01 Sep 2020

Japan’s Asahi Beverages has entered into a joint venture with Australia’s Pact Group Holdings and Cleanaway Waste Management to build a A$45 million recycling plant in regional New South Wales.

Located 10 kilometres from the city of Albury/Wodonga, the facility will recycle the equivalent of around 1 billion 600ml PET plastic bottles each year. The recycled material will be used to produce new bottles and food and beverage packaging.

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.

By closing the recycling loop, the facility will help reduce Australia’s reliance on virgin plastic, lower the amount of plastic waste sent overseas and the amount of imported recycled plastic.

Asahi Beverages’ Group CEO, Robert Iervasi, said: ‘We already have our beverage manufacturing plant in Albury. We are delighted to expand our presence there and create more local jobs.

‘We are very pleased to be contributing to the creation of a truly circular economy and can’t wait to get this project started.’

Mr Iervasi also acknowledged Australia’s Environment Minister, Sussan Ley MP, for her commitment to transform Australia’s waste and recycling capacity, as well as New South Wales Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean and the Albury Council for their support.

The recycling 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, and Asahi Beverages and Pact will buy the recycled plastic from the facility to use in their packaging.

The Australian Government is committed to reducing waste and improving resource recovery in the country. Its National Waste Policy Action Plan includes targets and actions to guide investment and national efforts to 2030 and beyond.

The project was supported with nearly A$5 million from the Environmental Trust as part of the NSW Government’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative. The Department of Regional NSW also provided support.

Construction of the plant will start towards the end of 2020 and it is expected to be fully operational by December 2021. The project is expected to create over 300 direct and indirect jobs.

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