A joint venture (JV) partnership involving Pact Group, Cleanaway Waste Management, Asahi Beverages and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) has commissioned a recycling plant in Albury-Wodonga, Australia.

Trading as Circular Plastics Australia (PET), the A$45m ($32.61m) facility is claimed to be the country’s largest polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling plant.

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It will recycle an equivalent of around one billion PET beverage bottles a year.

The Albury-Wodonga plant will increase the amount of locally sourced and recycled PET in Australia from around 30,000t to more than 50,000t a year.

Recycled PET from the facility will be used to manufacture new beverage bottles and other food and beverage packaging in Australia.

In addition, the facility enhances sustainability by using solar energy, while its water treatment unit and rainwater tanks will also contribute to saving as much water as possible.

The plant generated around 225 jobs during construction and installation, with an additional 40 people from local communities expected to be hired for its operations.

Pact Group managing director and CEO Sanjay Dayal said: “The opening of this state-of-the-art facility in Albury-Wodonga is a game-changer for Australia’s plastic recycling industry.

“We are proud to be part of a sustainable solution to divert plastic waste from landfill and ensure we are recycling and manufacturing our drink bottles and food packaging here in Australia without the need to import plastic material from overseas.

“Pact Group will continue to work with industry partners and governments to build a strong, local circular economy.”

The Albury-Wodonga project secured around A$5m in funding from the New South Wales (NSW) Government’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, as well as the Australian Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund.

The JV is also working on a second PET plastic recycling facility in Melbourne’s western region, which is due to be completed next year.