Australian-first technology boosts Victoria's Recycling

25 August 2023

Minister for the Environment and Water, the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP
Victorian Minister for Environment Ingrid Stitt 

The Albanese and Andrews Labor Governments today unveiled the nation’s most advanced paper recycling infrastructure, significantly boosting the recycling of carboard and paper collected from Victorian households.

Visy’s Coolaroo paper drum pulper will recycle an additional 95,000 tonnes of mixed paper and cardboard every year – increasing Victoria’s capacity to recycle the materials by more than 40 per cent.

The technology means that mixed or contaminated paper can be recycled to make new products, including boxes for the agricultural sector and packaging for takeaway food.

The project was supported by a $24 million co-investment from the Federal and Victorian Labor Governments, with Visy contributing $18.5 million.

Two other new recycling projects, announced today, will divert an extra 11,600 tonnes of plastics from landfill in Victoria each year.

Located in Moolap, GT Recycling will recycle an additional 7,900 tonnes of plastics including polyethylene pipe and other large plastic products used by the construction and agricultural sectors.

The waste, previously exported due to its size, will now be recycled in Australia and reprocessed into valuable new products. 

EQ Plastics, based in Dandenong, will process an additional 3,700 tonnes of plastic waste each year, which can then be reused and made into new and recyclable PET rigid films used in the packaging and manufacturing industries.

The Albanese Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund is accelerating Australia’s circular economy so that when a product is no longer useful or required for its initial purpose, it is either reused, recycled or remanufactured.

Projects already announced under the Recycling Modernisation Fund will add over 1 million tonnes of processing capacity every year, keeping Australia’s waste out of landfill and supporting new jobs.

When combined with co-investment from all states and industry, the Recycling Modernisation Fund will give a $1 billion boost to Australian recycling. 

The Andrews Labor Government’s funding is a part of a $515 million investment to transform the state’s waste and recycling sector, including $380 million under the government’s circular economy policy Recycling Victoria: a new economy. 

Quotes attributable to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek:

“Australians want to do their part to reduce their waste, recycle household products, and lighten their impact on the planet.

“This Australian-first paper and cardboard recycling facility is a perfect example of the kind of innovation we need to boost manufacturing in Australia while creating jobs. And it’s just one of the 128 projects funded so far from our $250 million Recycling Modernisation Fund.”

Quotes attributable to the Victorian Minister for Environment Ingrid Stitt: 

“Victorians are looking for more ways to pollute less and recycle more and we’re helping them do just that. 

“S“ignificant investment in technology like this is good for the environment, it’s good for the economy and it’s good for Victorian jobs.”

Quotes attributable to Visy Executive Chairman Anthony Pratt:

“We're honoured to commission our $42.5million recycling and landfill avoidance upgrades with you today.

"This Drum Pulper system is an Australian first and represents the most advanced paper recycling technology in the world.

“It will double Visy’s kerbside recycling capability in Victoria, diverting up to 180,000 tonnes of paper and cardboard annually from Victoria’s landfills or exports - the equivalent of approximately 400 Olympic swimming pools.”