AUSTRALIA – Mondelēz International, an American multinational confectionery, food, beverage, and snack food company, is investing in an advanced recycling pioneer Licella to boost plastic recycling in Australia.
Joining the maker of Oreo and Milka brands is Australian packaging manufacturer Amcor which is also pumping an undisclosed sum into the recycling company.
According to a statement from Mondelēz, Licella will use the funding to build one of the first advanced recycling facilities in Australia using a process called Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (Cat-HTR).
The Cat-HTR is a hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) technology that chemically transforms a range of waste plastics into “a high-quality oil, a direct substitute for fossil oil”.
In doing so, it allows a circular economy for plastic that would otherwise go to landfill and helps drive towards net zero carbon.
The new facility, named ‘Advanced Recycling Victoria’, is anticipated to initially process about 20,000 tonnes per year of end-of-life plastic, with plans to scale up to 120,000 tonnes per year.
“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,” Christine Montenegro McGrath, chief global impact and sustainability officer at Mondelēz, said.
Through Amcor, Mondelez expects to have access to recycled content from the site to meet much of its Australian soft plastic packaging needs, reducing its need for virgin plastic in Australia.
“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,” Christine added.
Mondelēz International has set out a long-term business strategy, naming sustainability as its fourth key pillar, in a bid to drive growth and create greater business value.
Part of this process is the ‘Light and Right’ strategy, which aims to simplify materials across the business and remove all unnecessary packaging.
In addition, Christine highlighted that Mondelez is seeking to have all its packaging designed to recycle by 2025 and targeting a 5% reduction in its use of virgin plastic and a 25% cut in virgin rigid plastic.
On this new collaboration, Frank Lehmann, Vice President of Corporate Venturing and Open Innovation at Amcor also noted that Amcor is continually seeking opportunities to invest in new technologies that will bring long-term benefits to 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,” he noted.
Earlier this year, Mondelēz released its Fiscal Year 2022 Snacking Made Right Report, highlighting progress made in its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) priorities and how far the company had gone in delivering on the mission to lead the future of snacking.
The report was part of the company’s wider goal to provide transparent, measurable information to its stakeholders on its ESG goals, policies, initiatives, and programs while seeking to amplify and accelerate the company’s sustainability vision of helping to create a future where together people and the planet thrive.