Paper, packaging, and recycling company Visy has opened its upgraded glass recycling facility in Laverton, Melbourne, the capital of Australian state Victoria. 

The plant, inaugurated by Victorian Environment Minister Steve Dimopoulos and Visy chair Anthony Pratt, is set to double the state’s existing glass recycling capability. 

It has been upgraded with an investment of A$50m ($32.45m). 

The upgraded facility is now capable of processing up to 200,000 tonnes of glass annually, which is equal to approximately 150 bottles and jars provided by each Victorian, every year. 

As part of the upgrade, the plant has been equipped with 20 new advanced optical cameras capable of sorting glass particles as small as 3mm, an improvement from the previous 10mm threshold. 

The modernised facility will collect and process materials gathered through the (CDS), currently operational in Victoria, and the rollout of new kerbside glass bins across the state. 

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The recycled glass will then be remanufactured into new jars, bottles, and containers at Visy’s Spotswood factory, which houses the sole glass container furnace in Victoria.  

The upgrade is a key component of the Victorian Government’s strategy to foster a more sustainable and circular economy system in the state.  

Dimopoulos said: “It’s incredible to see so many Victorians getting involved in recycling – returning over 220 million containers to be recycled into new products instead of going to landfill or polluting our precious environment.” 

The state government noted that its CDS currently has been a success, processing an average of ten million cans per week and recycling more than 220 million containers to date. The scheme has returned more than A$22m to Victorians.  

The latest facility upgrade work also aligns with Visy’s 2021 pledge to invest A$2bn over ten years in sustainable Australian manufacturing, aiming to reduce landfill, cut emissions, and create more jobs. 

Pratt said: “This is an important upgrade for Victoria and Visy on our way to manufacturing new glass bottles and jars made with an average of 70% recycled content.” 

“Using recycled content in glass manufacturing lowers greenhouse gas emissions.”