PET plastic recycling

Aerofloat offers circular economy for Circular Plastics Australia

Aerofloat has been pivotal in helping the Australian plastic recycling industry clean and reuse its wastewater. 

Read full article in Waste Management Review

With a booming plastics recycling industry since the National Plastics Plan came into effect in 2021, Michael Anderson, General Manager of wastewater treatment company, Aerofloat says Australia wants to become a major player in the global network for recycling plastics into consumer products.

Aerofloat has been pivotal to designing wastewater and wash water solutions for the plastics recycling industry for over eight years, meeting the specific criteria of multiple companies and councils across the eastern board. The company has won awards for its innovative designs and has become Australia’s go-to wastewater engineering company.

Following the announcement of the National Plastics Plan; Pact Group, Cleanaway, Asahi Beverages, and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners formed a joint venture known as Circular Plastics Australia. 

Aerofloat designed and built the wastewater treatment system for Circular Plastics Australia’s first plant, located in Albury New South Wales. The plant processes up to four tonnes of PET plastic every hour, which is equal to around one billion 600ml PET plastic bottles a year.

“The joint venture has created a complete supply chain of recycled plastic in Australia on a scale that has never been seen before,” says Michael. “You start with mums, dads, and kids dropping off bottles for Container Deposit Schemes (CDS). Cleanaway has been picking up those bottles and transporting them to Albury. Circular Plastics Australia then recycles the plastic bottles before Coca-Cola and Asahi take the new bottles for re-use.”

“Aerofloat’s design ensured a sustainable, long-term solution for Circular Plastics Australia in Albury. Clean wastewater from the system is reused as wash water within the plastics recycling facility or discharged to the sewer,” says Michael.

Circular Plastics Australia has enlisted Aerofloat again to design and install wastewater and wash water systems in its two new Melbourne plastics recycling facilities in Laverton and Altona North due for completion in 2023. 

“The new plant in Laverton can process two tons of HDPE and two tons of PP per hour. That means it’s going to process over 20,000 tonnes a year,” Michael says. 

Adam Kornhauser, Site Lead for the Laverton facility in Melbourne, says the ventures will significantly contribute to ensuring a circular economy that benefits its local community.

“Australians want packaging that is recycled and recyclable and this venture will significantly increase that opportunity for consumers,” says Adam. “Our Melbourne plants support our vision of creating a circular economy by recycling plastic into plastic flakes and resin, which can be further processed into plastic containers.”

While the Melbourne plants advance Australia towards meeting its National Plastics Plan goals, the facilities must still meet the city’s strict water regulations.

“The wastewater treatment plants discharge into the Greater Western Water (GWW) municipal sewer, so all parameters must meet the requirements for discharge of trade wastes from industrial premises as a minimum,” says Adam.

Michael agrees that environmental benefits must be considered across all areas.

“Our jobs at the Laverton and Altona North plants will be to treat the wash water generated from shredding and cleaning the bottles. Once it’s done its job, that wash water needs to be safely discharged into the Greater Western Water sewer network,” Michael says.

“We are expecting average daily flows of around 120 cubic metres per day at Altona North and 400 cubic metres per day at Laverton,” says Adam. “Aerofloat’s design is expected to more than meet that demand.”

Read full article in Waste Management Review


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