$20m govt funding to support Pact's $76m upgrades
In what has been described as a “game changing investment” in Australia’s plastic recycling and sustainable packaging industry, Pact has received $20m in government funding that will ultimately boost the amount of recycled plastic in locally made packaging.
The funding comes from the Federal Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative for Recycling and Clean Energy Manufacturing projects. The funding will be supporting a total investment of $76 million for plant and equipment upgrades across 15 of Pact Group’s sites in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia.
The completion timeline for the upgrades is mid-2024, and the investments are expected to create more than 250 permanent full-time jobs in Pact’s facilities and a further 120 jobs during the construction and installation phase of the projects.
Pact Group CEO Sanjay Dayal said, “The new technology and equipment will enable Pact to manufacture higher quality recycled packaging products to support our customers meet demands for a higher quantity of locally recycled content in their packaging products.”
Dayal noted that this substantial investment in Australia’s local plastic recycling and manufacturing industry, indicative of Pact's is commitment to building a local circular economy. He said, “We are proud of our progress to date.”
Four areas of Pact’s manufacturing operations will benefit from the investment.
Firstly, there will be upgrades to national dairy packaging equipment at facilities in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia to enable up to 50% recycled content for HDPE milk bottles.
Secondly, facilities in New South Wales and Victoria will see the installation of world-leading technology to boost production capability for PET drink bottles with 100% recycled content.
Thirdly, there will be upgrades to Sulo mobile garbage bin manufacturing facilities in New South Wales and Victoria to increase production capacity to support the rollout of “four bin” waste management initiatives and increase the use of recycled content to 80% from the current average of 30%.
And finally, new equipment will be installed at Pact’s industrial packaging manufacturing plants in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland to upgrade production facilities to enable increased recycled content in the manufacture of plastic paint pails and plastic cubes used in agricultural chemical and industrial applications
The upgrades complement Pact’s investments in recycling infrastructure in Australia, including a new PET recycling facility in Albury, which will be operational next month, a HDPE recycling facility in Melbourne, a further PET recycling facility at a location yet to be identified, and several other projects that are under evaluation.
Materials recycled through these facilities will include plastic waste collected from household recycling bins (such as milk bottles, food containers, and bottle tops), bottles from container deposit schemes, as well as old mobile garbage bins and other industrial waste.
The upgrades will enable these materials to be repurposed into value-add products that reduce the consumption of virgin materials and directly support the local circular economy.
Pact says the upgrades will enable the group to provide customers with solutions that will support them in complying with the 2025 National Packaging Targets, which will require 100% of packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable with 20% average recycled content included in plastic packaging. The investments will also support delivery of Pact’s own sustainability target to provide 30% recycled content across its portfolio by 2025.