Investing in Australia’s plastic recycling and sustainable packaging industry

Pact Group has received $20 million in funding from the Federal Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative for Recycling and Clean Energy Manufacturing projects to support its investments in “world-leading” technology. This will in turn increase the amount of recycled materials in locally made plastic packaging.

The funding will support investment of approximately $76 million in new equipment and facility upgrades at 15 of Pact’s operations in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and WA, which are to be completed by mid-2024.

The upgrades will provide Pact with the capability and capacity to meet growing demand for sustainable packaging.

According to the company, they will enable Pact to provide customers with solutions that will support them in complying with the Government’s 2025 National Packaging Targets which will require 100% of packaging being reusable, recyclable or compostable with 20% average recycled content included in plastic packaging.

The investments will also support delivery of Pact’s own sustainability target to provide 30% recycled content across its portfolio by 2025. The investments will be made across four areas of Pact’s manufacturing operations:

  1. Upgrades to national dairy packaging equipment at facilities in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, and WA to enable up to 50% recycled content for HDPE milk bottles.
  2. Installation of world-leading technology at facilities in NSW and Victoria to boost production capability for PET drink bottles with 100% recycled content.
  3. Upgrades to Sulo mobile garbage bin manufacturing facilities in NSW and Victoria to increase production capacity to support the rollout of “four bin” waste management initiatives and increase the use of recycled content to 80% from the current average of 30%.
  4. New equipment at Pact’s industrial packaging manufacturing plants in NSW, Victoria and Queensland to upgrade production facilities to enable increased recycled content in the manufacture of plastic paint pails and plastic cubes used in agricultural chemical and industrial applications.

The upgrades complement Pact’s investments in recycling infrastructure in Australia, including a new PET recycling facility in Albury, which will be operational next month, a HDPE recycling facility in Melbourne, a further PET recycling facility at a location yet to be identified, and several other projects that are under evaluation.

Materials recycled through these facilities will include plastic waste collected from household recycling bins (such as milk bottles, food containers, and bottle tops), bottles from container deposit schemes, as well as old mobile garbage bins and other industrial waste.

The upgrades will enable these materials to be repurposed into value-add products that reduce the consumption of virgin materials and directly support the local circular economy.

Pact Group CEO Sanjay Dayal says: “The new technology and equipment will enable Pact to manufacture higher quality recycled packaging products to support our customers meet demands for a higher quantity of locally recycled content in their packaging products.

“This is a substantial investment in Australia’s local plastic recycling and manufacturing industry. Pact is committed to building a local circular economy and we are proud of our progress to date.”

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