Visy Executive Chairman Anthony Pratt says Victorians “can now recycle pizza boxes without worry” following a $42.5 million upgrade to the company’s Coolaroo plant.
On Thursday, the billionaire joined Australian Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to unveil the project, giving the recycling giant “the most advanced paper recycling technology in the world.”
The upgrade is part of Visy’s commitment to invest AU $2 billion over the next decade to reduce landfills, cut emissions, and create thousands of “green collar” manufacturing jobs.
It will double Visy’s kerbside recycling capability and divert 180,000 more tonnes of paper and cardboard annually from landfills, equivalent to 400 additional Olympic-sized swimming pools.
“Recycling is an important weapon against climate change,” Mr. Pratt said.
Eliminating methane from landfills was one of the world’s most “doable” contributions to combating climate change.
It is also an essential step in Australia’s journey to full circularity -with Ms Pilbersek announcing last year that Australia was committed to total circularity by 2030.
“We know that recycling and remanufacturing are great for the environment; they’re great for the economy,” Ms Pilbersek said.
“…and, I have to say, they’re also great for my Sunday night peace and quiet at home because, until now, a significant source of debate around the kitchen table on a Sunday night is ‘Can the pizza box go in the recycling?’.”
Methane gas is 84 times more potent at creating greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide.
Mr Pratt said, “Every tonne of paper diverted from landfill avoids 3 tonnes of CO2.”
The new upgrade will see the installation of a Drum Pulper system – which means that any piece of waste paper that goes through a Victorian kerbside recycling bin can now be recycled into new packaging in Victoria.
An extra 11,600 tonnes of plastics will also be diverted from landfills each year under another two new recycling projects announced on Thursday.
Victoria is set to roll out its long-awaited container deposit scheme in November, with a 10-cent refund for every empty can, small bottle, and carton dropped off at a collection point.
It will be the final state or territory to introduce a container deposit scheme.
The Australian Financial Review reports that the project is supported following a $24 million co-investment from the federal and Victorian governments, with Visy contributing the remaining $18.5 million.
Wood Central understands that the new upgrade will allow Visy to recycle and remanufacture kerbside paper and cardboard into 100 per cent recycled paper and corrugated packaging for pizza boxes, the agricultural sector and Victoria’s favourite food and beverage brands.
Wood Central understands that the new upgrade will allow Visy to recycle and remanufacture kerbside paper and cardboard into 100 per cent recycled paper and corrugated packaging for pizza boxes, the agricultural sector, and Victoria’s favourite food and beverage brands.
“We’ve truly closed the loop on paper and cardboard recycling,” said Mr. Pratt.
“So put your used pizza box in the recycle bin, and we’ll make another box out of it,” he said.
The latest investment brings Visy’s total cumulative investment in Australia to more than $10 billion and will add to its current 2,500 workforce in Victoria.
“Premier Andrews, Minister Plibersek – it’s an honour to partner with you and your governments to deliver these projects for Victorians,” Mr Pratt said.
“We can’t make these changes without Government action, and I thank you for your foresight and dedication to practical environmental reforms.”