A plastics recycling plant, with the capability of processing 70,000 tonnes of materials per year, aims to take some strain off Australia’s growing waste problem.
The $20 million plant, partly funded by the Victorian government, aims to take low-value contaminated mixed plastics from households and transform them into commodities that can be used to manufacture new goods.
Plastic waste from commercial and industrial factories will also be recycled at the newly opened facility.
Sustainability Victoria estimates that 70,000 tonnes of plastics accounts for almost half of all plastics currently recovered across the state.
The Advanced Circular Polymers plant is described by Sustainability Victoria interim CEO, Carl Muller, as helping to significantly move plastics recycling in Victoria forward.
“[It] will play an important role in reducing plastic pollution.
“This new infrastructure will help tackle the problematic mixed plastic waste stream and will keep processing capacity here in Victoria,” Muller said.
Advanced Circular Polymers founder, Harry Wang, said rather than plastic being collected, sent overseas, reprocessed then sent back to Australia, he saw an opportunity to close the loop and find a sustainable solution.
“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. We should treat plastic like gold. It is a precious resource that can be used in production again and again,” Wang said.
Victoria is also home to a new sustainable asphalt and glass recycling plant.
The plant supplies road base, aggregates, sand and asphalt to build greener roads and rail projects, including the Western Roads Upgrade and Level Crossing Removal Projects.
The glass recycling plant is capable of producing 800 tonnes of construction sand per day – equivalent to four million glass bottles.
The high recycled technology asphalt plant produces more than half a million tonnes of green asphalt a year.