Pact Group and others have welcomed Monday’s announcement from the Australian government that it would commit $190m to a new recycling modernisation fund.
The government said the fund, launched to progress the development of recycling resource infrastructure in Australia, would generate $600m in recycling investment, create 10,000 jobs, and divert more than 10 million tonnes of waste from landfill. Co-funding from industry, states, and territories are to boost the fund.
The $190m commitment from the federal government would be matched by a further $190m contribution from state governments, with the recycling industry expected to invest an additional $200m. Additionally, the federal government has committed $35m to fund a national waste plan and $25m to address national waste data and a greater focus on outcomes.
The government said the initiative will support innovative investment in new infrastructure to sort, process, and remanufacture materials such as mixed plastic, paper, tyres, and glass.
Packaging giant Pact Group welcomed the federal government’s initiative, with Pact Group managing director and CEO Sanjay Dayal joining Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley and Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Trevor Evans to announce the establishment of the fund.
Dayal outlined the importance of this initiative in bringing government and industry stakeholders together and the significant economic and employment opportunities that would be unlocked by advancing Australia’s domestic recycling industry.
“Pact announced in February our commitment to invest $500m in building a local circular economy in partnership with industry and government,” he said.
“This is exactly the kind of support that we have been seeking. We look forward to working with both state and federal government to build the recycling infrastructure that Australia desperately needs.”
Pact Group chairman Raphael Geminder said Australia is well positioned towards a world-class circular economy.
“I am personally delighted by the government’s bold leadership on sustainability,” he said.
“It feels like the recycling industry has finally matured and this material boost in the funding and building of recycling infrastructure, will enable many businesses to fast track investment, in scaled solutions that address Australia’s waste problems and significantly boost employment in the sector.”
The commitment made by Pact earlier this year to invest $500 million into circular economy initiatives over the next five years will see the company strive for the inclusion of 30 per cent recycled content across its packaging portfolio, eliminate all non-recyclable packaging it produces, and increase reusable secondary packaging in supermarkets.
In addition to the proposed recycling plants, Pact has identified $50m of investment to upgrade its Australian manufacturing platform to enable the inclusion of recycled content in food and industrial packaging.
As part of its existing commitment, Pact has been discussing and working on a initiatives with state governments to identify ways to co-create new circular economy solutions that will deliver local jobs, bolster the domestic manufacturing industry, and deliver smarter solutions for plastic waste and recycled packaging in Australia.
Earlier this year, Pact Group announced its intention to jointly develop a plastic pelletising facility in Albury alongside Cleanaway and Asahi Beverages. This facility is designed to contribute to a circular economy and is supported by a grant from the NSW government’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative.