Amcor, Mondelēz and Licella partner to promote circular economy

Amcor and Mondelēz International have partnered to invest in advanced recycling technology pioneer Licella in an important step towards ending plastic waste and to contribute to one of the first advanced recycling facilities in Australia. 

Licella will use its innovative 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 packaging.

Cat-HTR is an advanced hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) technology, which uses hot, pressurised water to continuously recycle end-of-life plastic that would otherwise be sent to a landfill. 

The new Australian facility, called Advanced Recycling Victoria, will initially process about 20,000 tonnes per year of end-of-life plastic, with plans to scale up to 120,000 tonnes per year. 

Through Amcor, Mondelēz International, which sells with iconic snack brands Cadbury, The Natural Confectionery Company and Pascall among others, will have access to recycled content from this site to meet much of its Australian soft plastic packaging needs. This move will significantly reduce its need for virgin plastic in Australia.

Amcor vice-president of corporate venturing and open innovation Frank Lehmann said, “Amcor is continually seeking opportunities to invest in new technologies that will bring long-term benefits to our customers, consumers and the planet. 

“We recognise 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.”

Amcor Flexibles Asia Pacific president Mike Cash added, “Amcor will be able to meet increasing customer demand for recycled content in the region with this investment, as well as take another step closer to achieving our target of 30 per cent recycled content across Amcor’s portfolio by 2030″.

Mondelēz International aims to remove unnecessary packaging and simplify packaging materials across the business.

Mondelēz International senior vice-president and chief global impact and sustainability officer Christine Montenegro McGrath said, “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.

“Our packaging strategy is focused on using less packaging, better packaging and helping to build better systems. 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.”

Licella CEO Dr Len Humphreys added that leadership from the 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,” Humphreys said.

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