Orora will be investing $19 million, including $8 million in government grant funding, to build an advanced glass beneficiation plant at its Gawler glass packaging site in South Australia.
As Australia's packaging industry gears up to build capacity to generate high value recycled commodities, and government backs initiatives with grants from its Recycling Modernisation Fund, packaging manufacturers are moving quickly to set up infrastructure to get ahead in the game.
Glass packaging converter Orora's just-announced $19 million investment at its Gawler site aligns with the company's ambition to be a leader in the provision of sustainable packaging solutions.
Speaking to PKN, Orora managing director and CEO Brian Lowe said the company was delighted with the support from the Commonwealth and South Australian governments, with the $8 million funding injection enabling Orora to get the project off the ground immediately.
He said the new plant will be built adjacent to the existing glass packaging manufacturing site at Gawler in South Australia's Barossa Valley, and it is scheduled to be up and running by the first half of 2022.
“The plant will give us the ability to sort post-consumer recycled glass by colour, segregate the glass from other contaminants, and give us a clean stream colour-sorted recycled glass to feed into our furnaces at Gawler,” he said.
Lowe said the beneficiation plant will enable Orora to procure additional volumes of beverage glass through established sources and new container deposit schemes (CDS), to increase the amount of recycled content in glass packaging manufactured at Gawler to as much as 50 per cent.
Currently, Orora has exclusive rights to CDS glass in South Australia, and access to CDS glass from Western Australia, which commenced last October. Lowe said Orora will soon be sourcing from NSW CDS, and Victoria's CDS comes on stream in 2023, Orora's plant will be fully operational and able to process the additional recyclate.
Utilisation of more recycled glass during packaging production will deliver sustainability benefits, including a reduction in the amount of energy (and CO2 emissions) and in virgin materials deployed to manufacture glass, and will divert waste away from landfill.
Lowe said this investment would create 12 new permanent jobs at the plant, with 66 on the construction project.
“The combined Commonwealth and South Australian grant funding is testament to Orora’s continued investment in sustainable solutions to support the growing needs of its customers and the Australian community.”