Amcor plc

11/23/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/22/2021 17:06

Amcor partners with local industry on Australian Advanced Recycling Feasibility Study in Australia

Licella, supported by Amcor, Coles, iQ Renew, LyondellBasell, and Nestlé, has released a report highlighting the benefits of establishing a local circular economy for flexible plastic, with a focus on plastics currently underserved by recycling infrastructure, such as food packaging.

The report comes as a result of a feasibility study that demonstrated a circular economy for plastic wil be key in enabling Australia to meet its National Waste Policy commitments. With Australia's National Packaging Targets requiring industry to use an average of 50% recycled content in packaging by 2025, the demand for recycled content, especially food-grade plastic, is expected to grow significantly1.

Advanced recycling allows all types of plastic, like confectionery wrappers and bread bags, to be turned back into oil after use, then made into new food-grade packaging in Australia. The study found that using the oil created from recycled material in the local plastic packaging supply chain delivers a 64% CO2 reduction compared to crude oil2.

The advanced recycling facility would be an Australian first if built and presents the opportunity to divert up to 120,000 tonnes, or 24%, of the 500,000 tonnes of used plastics sent to landfill every year in Victoria 31 . The proposed facility would be an essential step towards a more sustainable future for plastic in Australia.

Initially the proposed facility would process 20,000 tonnes per annum of plastic, producing 17,000 tonnes of oil and reducing the need for virgin oil. The long-term plan is to potentially expand processing to 120,000 tonnes per annum, resulting in the production of nearly 100,000 tonnes of recycled food-grade plastics per year.

"Our study partners all represent important pieces of the puzzle," said Dr Len Humphreys, CEO, Licella Holdings Limited. "I am grateful to them for coming on the journey with us. We've come together with a shared vision for a more sustainable future for plastic, and we all understand that we can do more together than we can individually."

The system-wide transformation required for Australia to meet its plastic recycling targets needs local initiatives, such as those outlined in this report, to come to fruition. Collaboration across industry and government is essential to drive this change.

"The demand for recycled plastic continues to accelerate around the world," said Simon Roy, Vice President and General Manager, Amcor ANZ. "Enabling advanced recycling is critical to generate circularity for flexible packaging. End-consumers' needs are constantly changing. We are proud to be part of the solution.

"We are committed to the development of and access to more sustainable packaging, better waste management infrastructure and improved recycling education."