Packaging and resource recovery company Visy has announced a major $31.25m (A$48m) upgrade to its recycling and remanufacturing facility in Gibson Island, Queensland, Australia.

The announcement was made together with Australian Olympic and Paralympic Games premier and minister Annastacia Palaszczuk, and deputy premier and State Development Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning minister Steven Miles.

Out of the total investment for this upgrade, approximately $10m has been allocated by the Queensland state government, as part of its ‘Queensland Jobs Fund’ initiative.  

As per a statement from the Queensland government, this upgradation project has generated more than 100 jobs at the time of construction, as well as 11 recycling and manufacturing employment opportunities at the site.

With these newly added roles, the workforce at the Gibson Island facility has now increased to approximately 200.

The effort is also a part of Visy executive chair Anthony Pratt’s plans to invest approximately $1.303bn in order to minimise landfill and cut emissions over the next decade.

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The plan includes allocating approximately $456m for the implementation of the same efforts in Queensland.

Pratt said: “This is a very proud day for our company because we are not only manufacturers, we are actually in the landfill avoidance business which is good for greenhouse gas reduction as well because as things decay in landfill they produce methane gas which is 84 times worse for climate change than carbon dioxide.”

The work is expected to divert nearly 39,000 tonnes of material from landfill with the help of a new paper optical sorting plant.

Waste material from thousands of homes in Queensland, instead of going directly to landfill, will be taken by Visy to be recycled and remanufactured into 100% recycled paper and corrugated boxes.

These boxes can then be used by local farmers or food and beverage companies, while the recycled paper will be sent to Visy’s corrugated box plants in Hemmant and other locations.

Palaszczuk said: “It will remove 39,000 tonnes of material each year – equivalent to 20 kilos for every Queensland household.

“This project is helping to progress Queensland’s 2050 vision of becoming a zero-waste society.”