Leading sustainable packaging solutions provider Orora has commenced operations at its new $25m glass beneficiation plant in South Australia, which will enable the company to significantly increase the recycled content in its manufactured glass products.

Construction of the plant was supported by $8m in grant funding from the Commonwealth and South Australia government as part of the Recycling Modernisation Fund, Orora CEO Brian Lowe said the plant was a major milestone in the company’s sustainability journey.

“Our new world-class beneficiation plant is a significant achievement as it will increase the amount of recycled glass used in our manufactured products, allowing us to process up to 150,000 tonnes each year – that’s equivalent to approximately 330 million wine bottles or 750 million beer bottles,” Lowe said.

“Not only does this progress Orora’s sustainability agenda, it enhances our ability to support our customers’ sustainability goals, in turn contributing to the circular economy and the sustainability of the Australian glass industry.”

Lowe was joined at the official opening ceremony for the plant by South Australia Deputy Premier, the Hon Susan Close, who said: “Consumers are increasingly demanding recycled packaging, and this project makes a significant contribution to the circular economy and the sustainability of the glass industry in this state.”

Lowe added: “We value the investment of the Commonwealth and South Australia government – it aligns to  the government’s focus on increasing Australia’s capacity to generate high value recycled commodities, investing in recycling and waste infrastructure, as well as creating new opportunities to recover and reuse resources.”

The process of beneficiation sees impurities removed from used, broken glass by crushing, cleaning and sorting it, this delivers crushed contaminant-free glass, or cullet, which is ready for manufacture in new products.

As well as increasing recycled glass content, benefits of the plant include a reduction in the amount of energy used to manufacture glass products, a reduction in virgin materials and diversion of waste away from landfill.

These benefits will advance the company toward achieving a number of its sustainability goals, which include 60 per cent recycled content for glass beverage containers by 2025 and net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The plant has the capacity to produce a maximum of 150,000 tonnes of furnace-ready, recycled glass each year, with 100 per cent of the recycled glass used by Orora to produce glass packaging for customers across the beverage industry, including wine, beer, carbonated soft drinks, kombucha, water and olive oil.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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