Joint media release: Funding boost for Australia's biggest recycling plant

7 July 2021

The Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Finance
The Hon Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction
The Hon Trevor Evans MP, Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management 

Construction of Australia’s biggest polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling plant is progressing at pace, with the Morrison Government providing new finance to ensure it can help meet our ambitious waste reduction targets and support jobs in regional New South Wales.

Circular Plastic Australia’s PET recycling facility will receive an injection of up to $16.5 million through a Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) investment. 

This is the first investment under the Government’s Australian Recycling Investment Fund. 

Once operational, the facility will recycle the equivalent of one billion plastic bottles each year, turning them into more than 20,000 tonnes of new PET bottles and food packaging.

Construction began in February and has delivered an important economic boost to the region through the creation of 300 direct and indirect jobs. A further 35 ongoing roles will support the facility’s ongoing operations. 

The plant will be partially powered by solar energy, allowing this important facility to operate with a reduced carbon footprint.

Minister for Finance Simon Birmingham said the Government is firmly focused on growing and strengthening Australia’s waste and recycling industry.

“Through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the Government is investing in this important sector and working with industry to attract additional investment,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Improving Australia’s recycling capacity is good for the environment and Australia’s economic growth. As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, boosting jobs within the sector will help secure Australia’s future and this project is assisting that.”

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the project will help deliver a cleaner, greener Australia for future generations. 

“Better waste management is important to Australia’s future low emissions economy, and has the potential to reduce emissions by cutting landfill volumes,” Minister Taylor said. 

“That’s why we’re partnering with industry and backing projects that will increase our recycling rates, turn our waste back into valuable products and encourage innovation so that resources are not lost to landfill.”

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Trevor Evans said the Morrison Government’s unprecedented reforms to the recycling industry are making Australia a more self-sufficient and self-reliant country.

“These reforms are supporting our own local manufacturers and ensuring we have a strong domestic supply chain for recycled products to create a more circular economy,” Assistant Minister Evans said.

The Australian Recycling Investment Fund was announced in the 2019-20 Budget and is a key part of the Government’s $167 million plan to boost Australia’s recycling rates, tackle plastic waste and halve food waste by 2030.

Projects funded under the Australian Recycling Investment Fund will contribute to the Council of Australian Governments’ commitment to ban exports of Australia’s waste.

The Government is also supporting recycling and clean energy projects under the $1.3billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative.