Up to 1 million new cardboard will be produced daily from Visy’s Brisbane plant and use “100% recycled fibre” after Visy Chair Anthony Pratt opened the company’s latest plant.
The latest investment caps a whirlwind month for Mr Pratt after he opened Pratt Industries’ $ 1 billion-plus recycled paper mill and corrugated box factory in Henderson, Kentucky, last month.
It also follows the announced upgrade of Visy’s Coolaroo plant in Melbourne, which now gives the packaging giant “the most advanced paper recycling technology in the world.”
The new Brisbane facility is part of Visy’s commitment to invest $2 billion over the next decade – $700m in Queensland – to reduce landfills, cut emissions and create thousands of “green collar” manufacturing jobs.
It is the most significant investment Visy has ever made in Queensland. The company will invest $500m to build a new glass, food and beverage container facility at Yatala and spend $48m to upgrade its Material Recovery Facility (MRF) at Gibson Island.
However, the plan’s first stage was the $175m construction of a new corrugated box facility in Hemmant.
Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick and Ed Husic, Australian Federal Minister for Industry and Science, opened the new facility with the new plant servicing Australia’s packaging industry.
Mr Pratt states the new facility “is the country’s most productive and technically advanced corrugated box-making facility.”
“We’ve installed the latest 2.8m wide corrugator—the most modern corrugator in the southern hemisphere,” Pratt said.
Instead of going to landfill or export, Visy recycles mixed paper and cardboard from Queensland businesses and households at its Gibson Island recycling facility and re-manufactures it into 100 per cent recycled paper.
The new Hemmant factory will use 100 per cent recycled paper to make corrugated boxes for the state’s farmers and iconic food and beverage companies.
In front of an audience of CEOs and representatives of some of Queensland’s largest food and beverage companies, Pratt praised the State and Federal Government’s support for the next generation of manufacturing jobs.
“We are transforming Australia’s recycling and manufacturing and creating thousands of green-collar jobs,” said Pratt
“100 per cent recycled boxes from this facility are one of the ways we’re using all of Australia’s paper and cardboard, so it doesn’t have to be landfilled or exported.”
Visy is now working to relocate its glass re-manufacturing operations from South Brisbane to Yatala, expected in 2025, paving the way for the site to be used for the International Broadcasting Centre ahead of the 2032 Olympic Games.
That facility will produce up to 1 billion glass containers a year, whilst its MRF facility on Gibson Island will see up to 30,000 kt of additional material picked up and recycled from kerbside collection – an important weapon against climate change.
According to Mr Pratt, Visy is “in the landfill reduction business,” and given it recycles all its paper, “it is good for greenhouse gas reduction because as things decay in the landfill, they produce methane gas 84 times worse for climate change than carbon dioxide.”