Local links and connections building blocks of success for PET recycling venture

An Australian first, the Circular Plastics Australia PET plastic recycling facility is helping put Albury Wodonga and NEXUS Industrial Precinct on the map as a hub of innovative manufacturing and industry since it opened in March 2022.

General Manager – Pact Recycling Joint Ventures, Paul Ross, says transport links, proximity to existing business partners, land affordability and cooperation from AlburyCity Council all played an integral role in choosing NEXUS as the location for the world-class PET recycling facility.

The NEXUS recycling facility is the largest PET recycling facility in the southern hemisphere and one of the only in Australia focusing on taking bottles and turning them into food-grade packaging. The facility is capable of recycling around 20,000 tonnes of plastic waste or the equivalent of around 1 billion 600ml PET plastic bottles each year.

The plastic bottles are recycled into high-quality PET resin, which is then used to manufacture new 100% recycled PET beverage bottles and food packaging, all of which can be recycled again and again.

“Albury-Wodonga is a good point of manufacturing between Victoria and New South Wales from a logistics point of view in and out of the business,” Mr Ross said.

“The relationship with AlburyCity Council was good because they wanted to encourage regional development and regional jobs. Dealing with AlburyCity Council made it simple. There was a lot less red tape and a lot of support from the fact that they wanted an innovative industry in the area.”

Expanding its network and building relationships with regional businesses and education providers is also vital to the joint venture as it expands its capabilities and looks to grow its customer base.

Circular Plastics Australia (PET) is a joint venture between Pact Group, Cleanaway Waste Management Ltd, Asahi Beverages, and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners.

Pact Group operates the facility and provides technical and packaging expertise. Cleanaway provides the plastic to be recycled through its collection and sorting network, while Asahi Beverages, Coca-Cola and Pact Group use the recycled resin from the facility to make new beverage bottles and food packaging.

Circular Plastics Australia (PET) is building a second similar PET recycling facility in Melbourne, which will double the recycling capacity for the joint venture when it opens in 2023.

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