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PET Plastic Resized
Case study

One billion PET bottles recycled into a second life

Closing the loop with Circular Plastics Australia  

Cleanaway, Pact Group and Asahi Beverages have joined forces to develop a polyethylene terephthalate recycling facility that will ‘close the loop’ on the equivalent of one billion plastic bottles a year.  

1 billion

bottles

20,000 t

recycled materials 

$45m

facility

This is a genuine closed loop recycling solution that reduces the amount of plastic that goes to landfill. It also represents a significant advance in the development of Australia’s circular economy. The project shows decisive leadership and cooperation from major industry leaders, working together to find a higher order use for plastic in the waste hierarchy. We are particularly proud that the first Australian Recycling Investment Fund investment builds Australia’s capacity to generate high value recycled commodities that create an important revenue stream while also reducing carbon emissions.
Ian Learmonth
CEO, CEFC

Our investment

The venture is backed by $16.5 million in CEFC debt finance, the first investment delivered as part of the Australian Recycling Investment Fund. The project will also draw on $16.5 million in debt finance from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.  

our impact 

The Circular Plastics Australia (CPA) recycling plant in Albury, NSW, will see the PET bottles recycled to produce more than 20,000 tonnes of new bottles and food packaging a year.  

The state-of-the-art facility will make a significant contribution to the development of Australia’s circular economy, by turning plastic waste into reusable materials.   

The CPA plant will become Australia’s largest polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic recycling plant and only the second facility of its kind in Australia to process PET end-to-end into food-grade recycled materials.  

CPA is a joint venture between Cleanaway, Pact Group and Asahi Beverages and features an innovative structure in the recycling and resource recovery sector.   

Cleanaway will source and provide the feedstock plastics, the JV facility will process the PET plastic into food-grade recycled pellets, Pact Group will manufacture the new bottles and Asahi Beverages will use the new recycled PET bottles for its products.   

A significant proportion of the plastic feedstock will come from the NSW container deposit scheme via Cleanaway’s Eastern Creek Container Sorting Facility. This is the circular economy in action, with full visibility of the journey recovered materials take to be turned into new products.  

Pact Group estimates the CPA plant will increase the amount of locally sourced and recycled PET produced in Australia by two thirds – to more than 50,000 tonnes per year. It will also reduce Australia’s reliance on virgin plastic and the amount of recycled plastic Australia imports. Solar energy will power part of the facility.  

Learn more about the Australian Recycling Investment Fund  

Read our report

Energising resource recovery: the Australian opportunity

Australia’s recycling and resource recovery sector is undergoing considerable change. With this change comes opportunity – measured in economic, employment and emissions benefits. As explored in this report, the resource and energy recovery sectors could drive as much as $7.8 billion in new investment in Australia over the next few years.

Read more
Last updated 7 July 2021. New South Wales, Bioenergy, Energy efficiency