Thursday, May 30, 2024

Pact Group wins prestigious Circular Economy Award

Integrated plastic packaging manufacturing and recycling company Pact Group has won the Circular Economy Award at this year’s Chemistry Australia Industry Awards for its efforts to recycle “the equivalent of half a billion used milk bottles a year” and turn them into new milk bottles.

“It’s a major boost for the domestic circular economy with Australians consuming about 90 litres of milk each year on a per capita basis[1], which equates to more than a billion 2L plastic milk bottles,” according to the company.

The used milk bottles and other dairy containers are collected from household recycling bins and then processed at the Pact-operated Circular Plastics Australia (CPA) recycling plant in the Melbourne suburb of Laverton.

The CPA facility, which is a joint venture with Cleanaway Waste Management, opened earlier this year and can recycle “up to 20,000 tonnes of used high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) packaging each year at full operational capacity.” This equates to around half a billion 2L milk bottles.

The facility uses state-of-the-art equipment to sort, shred, wash, sanitise and dry the material before converting it into high quality food and non-food grade resins.

The recycled resin will be used at Pact’s packaging manufacturing facilities in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth which are being upgraded to enable an increase in the use of recycled content used to make HDPE milk bottles and dramatically reduce the need for virgin plastic.

“Recycling plastic not only helps divert used packaging from landfill but also contributes to lowering carbon emissions by replacing virgin resin produced from fossil fuels.

“Recycled plastic is 2.2 times less emissions intensive than virgin fossil fuel plastic so by providing high-quality, local, recycled content for commercial use, Pact is enabling a lower emissions circular economy solution.[2]

“Pact has a vision to lead the circular economy and this award recognises the significant efforts the company is making to recycle used plastic packaging from Australian households to create new packaging which in turn can be recycled.”

[1] Dairy Australia: In Focus Report 2023.

[2] AMCS-WWF: Climate impacts of plastic consumption in Australia.

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