Australia’s first beverage carton recycling facility opens in Warragamba, New South Wales

  • The launch of the first saveBOARD facility in Australia marks an important step in advancing Australia’s circular economy, providing the infrastructure required to recycle cartons locally
  • The facility has the capacity to process up to 4,000 tonnes of used materials annually
  • The new $5.5 million facility turns beverage carton packaging waste into sustainable building materials for Aussie homes and offices

New Zealand-based packaging waste innovator saveBOARD opens its first recycling facility in Australia today. Located in Warragamba, Sydney’s southwest, the new $5.5 million facility has the capacity to process up to 4,000 tonnes of materials annually and employ up to 12 local staff to operate the plant.

Supported by the Australian Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund and the NSW Government’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, the facility is the first of its kind in Australia to manufacture construction products entirely from used beverage cartons that would otherwise end up in landfill. This sturdy, lightweight alternative to conventional plasterboard, plywood or particle board is also 100% recyclable.

The industry-led project is the first collaboration between Tetra Pak and SIG Combibloc in Australia under the umbrella of the Global Recycling Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (GRACE) and is a joint initiative with saveBOARD and its partners Freightways and Closed Loop.

At the opening ceremony of the facility this morning co-hosted by saveBOARD and Tetra Pak, Paul Charteris, CEO and Co-Founder at saveBOARD, said: “It’s exciting to finally be opening the first saveBOARD facility in Australia, supporting the circular economy to make a real impact to the environment and climate change. This facility will enhance the construction industry’s drive towards more sustainable construction practices, while also showing consumers the importance and value in recycling and opting for recyclable products in their day-to-day lives.”

Andrew Pooch, Managing Director of Tetra Pak Australia and New Zealand said: “We’re incredibly proud to be part of this sustainability journey alongside saveBOARD, as we look at even more innovative ways we can convert carton packaging waste into useful applications, and contribute to a strong circular economy.

“This is part of our ongoing sustainability commitment, as we look to enable more packaging to become 100 per cent recyclable or reusable, in line with the 2025 National Packaging Targets. By partnering with saveBOARD, we’re showing that innovation in recycling comes in many forms, and consumers can see first-hand how they can contribute to a more sustainable future,” Pooch adds.

The launch of the first saveBOARD facility in Australia marks an important step in advancing the infrastructure needed to support carton recycling and enable circular economy locally. saveBOARD will be opening another recycling facility in Campbellfield, Victoria in late 2024 after receiving $1 million in funding from the Victorian Government. j

saveBOARD officially opened its first New Zealand recycling facility at Te Rapa near Hamilton in June 2022. The facility has a maximum production capacity of 200,000 construction boards a year, although it is currently running at 50 per cent capacity as it gradually builds converts from the building industry for its recycled product. The total volume of waste (Tetra Pak, soft plastics, mixed fibre) diverted from landfill is over 1,000 tonnes to date.

saveBOARD products have been used housing projects by Kāinga Ora, as a feature wall in Contact Energy’s corporate head office, as construction hoardings by building company Naylor Love, in Woolworths Australia stores and in KFC Australia takeaway outlets.

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