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Mondelēz and Amcor invest in packaging recycling

Mondelēz International partnered with supply chain leader Amcor to build an advanced recycling facility in Australia. Together they are investing in advanced recycling technology specialist, Licella, to build one of the country’s first developments of this kind. The shared goal is to promote a circular economy for plastic packaging. The Mondelēz International deal is expected to close in the coming days.

Licella will use its Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (Cat-HTR™) technology to recycle end-of-life plastic back into a crude oil substitute suitable to produce new food-grade plastic packagingCat-HTR™ is a hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) technology that uses hot, pressurized water to continuously recycle end-of-life plastic that would otherwise be sent to landfill.

The new Australian facility, called Advanced Recycling Victoria (ARV), is anticipated to initially process about 20,000 tons per year of end-of-life plastic, with plans to scale up to 120,000 tons per year. Through Amcor, Mondelēz International expects to have access to recycled content from this site to meet much of its Australian soft plastic packaging needs, significantly reducing its need for virgin plastic in Australia.

Through its ‘Light and Right’ packaging strategy, Mondelēz International aims to remove unnecessary packaging and simplify packaging materials across the business.

“While plastic plays an important part in the security, quality, protection and preservation of food products, there is a gap in sustainable local recycling solutions,” says Christine Montenegro McGrath, Senior Vice President and Chief Global Impact and Sustainability Officer at Mondelēz International.

“Our packaging strategy is focused on using better packaging and helping to build better systems,” said McGrath. “This investment brings together multiple stakeholders in the supply chain to scale the infrastructure and technology needed to help create a more sustainable future for plastics and is part of our longer-term focus on working toward our goal of net-zero packaging waste by supporting circular economies.”

CEO of Licella, Dr. Len Humphreys, says leadership from industry is needed to help bring Australia closer to more sustainable plastic waste solutions that deliver both economic and environmental benefits.

“This is the leading technology of its kind globally, and it was developed here in Australia. This investment will help advance our Australian facility at a time when demand for sustainable plastic solutions, that also help provide food-grade recycled content, is growing exponentially,” Humphreys said.

Amcor delivers a number of packaging solutions containing more sustainable materials, including recycled content, says Frank Lehmann, Vice President of Corporate Venturing and Open Innovation at Amcor. “Amcor is continually seeking opportunities to invest in new technologies that will bring long-term benefits to our customers, consumers and the planet. We recognize our products can play a vital role in the circular economy, and partnerships like this enhance our ability to deliver innovative solutions for our customers, like Mondelēz International,” said Lehmann.

Photo: Mondelēz International