The Federal Government is investing $14.9 million into nine recycling projects worth more than $40 million under Round 10 of the Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-P) initiative.
Australia’s largest plastics recycling plant, with a processing capacity of 70,000 tonnes a year, has opened in Victoria.
Advanced Circular Polymers’ $20 million facility will recycle large quantities of low-value contaminated mixed plastic into material suitable for manufacturing new products
Advanced Circular Polymers Founder Harry Wang said the plant’s 70,000 tonne capacity is equivalent to almost half the plastics currently recovered in Victoria.
“Previously, Australia relied heavily on China to process recovered plastics. This new advancement provides a local solution, right here in Victoria, to the challenges posed by China’s import restrictions imposed last year,” Mr Wang said.
“Rather than plastic being collected, sent overseas, reprocessed then sent back to Australia, we saw an opportunity to close the loop and find a sustainable solution.”
The plant, which has been part-funded by the Victorian Government and a $500,000 Sustainability Victoria grant, will be powered by renewable energy produced from Goldwind Australia’s wind farm near Ballarat.
The facility will use advanced technology to sort and clean plastic by polymer type and to specific customer requirements.
Mr Wang said the resulting plastic flake would be sold and repurposed into new plastic products such as packaging.
“We are big supporters of reducing plastic pollution as a first step, but while there is still plastic to be recycled we should be doing our best to capture what we can,” Mr Wang said.
“We should treat plastic like gold. It is a precious resource that can be used in production again and again.”