Following its $1bn acquisition of O-I ANZ last year, one of the biggest manufacturing acquisitions by an Australian owned business in Australian business history, Visy has pledged it will invest a further $2bn in Australian manufacturing over the next ten years.
Visy chairman Anthony Pratt made this pledge alongside Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week at Visy’s new Penrith, Western Sydney glass manufacturing facility, acquired in the 2020 O-I deal.
He commended the Morrison government for “initiating a renaissance in manufacturing”.
Pratt said the coronavirus has reinforced the importance of manufacturing self-sufficiency and said Visy applauded the Morrison government’s six-sector manufacturing focus, including Visy’s two sectors of recycling and clean energy, and food and beverage manufacturing.
Pratt said the $2bn-over-ten-years investment pledge by Visy will create thousands of new manufacturing jobs and bring Visy’s total investment value in Australia to $11bn.
“$380 million of that investment has been brought forward over the next 18 months because of the government's accelerated depreciation policy. It will be spent on increasing the recycled content on glass bottles in Australia from 30 per cent to 70 per cent, including offering councils a glass recycling bin.”
Visy recycles 409,000 tonnes of glass per annum and manufactures 856,000 tonnes of glass bottles and jars. Access to glass that is better separated from other waste at the kerbside collection point would enable the company to increase its recycling efforts. Visy's sorting technology at its glass recycling plant easily separates the glass into colour streams of clear, amber and green before being processed into cullett.
Commenting on the company's other circular economy initiatives, Pratt said Visy will also be reducing landfills by building another clean energy plant in Victoria that runs on paper mill rejects, and converting its Brisbane paper mill to running on paper mill rejects that were previously going to landfill. A drum pulper in Victoria will now use waste paper previously going to landfill, he said, and Visy will double its capacity at its 100 per cent recycled plastics factory in NSW, as well as initiate water recycling projects to reduce water usage at its recycled paper mills by 40 per cent.
“These initiatives will not only reduce landfills but also increase the recycled content of our customers’ packaging,” Pratt said.
In response to Pratt's announcement, Scott Morrison said Pratt and Visy has given Australia a “shot in the arm” when it comes to Australia’s economic comeback in the Covid-19 recovery.
He said Visy’s vote of confidence in Australia “gives us the confidence to continue the economic recovery that is underway in Australia”.
Morrison said Visy’s pledge “connects with our government’s absolute commitment to boost our circular economy industries here in Australia”.