Australian company Viva Energy has collaborated with Cleanaway to explore a circular solution that will help address soft and other hard-to-recycle plastic waste.

The proposed project aims to transform hard-to-recycle plastic materials back into food-grade plastic resin feedstock, addressing a significant environmental challenge.

The partnership seeks to offer a sustainable option for food manufacturers and packaging specialists, as well as households and businesses, to reduce landfill waste.

Viva said the partners are assessing a facility that will feature a sorting plant and an advanced chemical recycling plant to produce plastic pyrolysis oil.

This initiative could help industry players meet the anticipated Australian Government’s recycling regulations by the end of 2025.

Viva chief business development and sustainability officer Lachlan Pfeiffer said: “For Australia to have the ability to recycle its own plastic – a true circular economy – we need to have a facility like this to convert waste plastic to pyrolysis oil on a commercial scale.

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“If feasible, over time it will support a market for plastic collection and processing while also providing the pyrolysis oil we need to allow the refinery to produce recycled food-grade plastic. It will be a true end-to-end solution for manufacturers.”

Viva plans to incorporate coprocessing at its Geelong Refinery. The company has broader plans to transform the refinery into a modern energy hub that supports both energy security and the energy transition.

Meanwhile, Cleanaway’s involvement in this project is in line with its commitment to low-carbon, high-circularity solutions that minimise the use of virgin resources and enhance Australia’s recycling capabilities.

In December 2023, Cleanaway announced the start of operations at a new polyethylene terephthalate bottle recycling plant in Melbourne, Australia.