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Greenies welcome Australian Paper’s recycling plan

Tuesday, 10 April 2012
By Print21

Australia’s only manufacturer of recycled office and printing paper, Australian Paper has announced plans to build a major recycling plant at its Maryvale Mill as the sites current recycled fibre supplier, Amcor Fairfield, is due to close in July.

Jim Henneberry, CEO of Australian Paper, announced a Feasibility Study as part of an updated Future Fibre Strategy, which if advanced would significantly increase the volume of premium recycled paper made in Australia. AP hopes to build its recycling plant in 2014.

“By value-adding locally, we would save large volumes of waste paper being sent to local landfills or shipped overseas,” he said. “Our study will look at all aspects of demand and production and will be completed by August.”

He said the company has also made significant progress in its plans to increase the use of plantation fibre. Currently almost two thirds of Australian Paper’s needs are met from plantations and recycled waste.

“After extensive trials, we have been able to increase our plantation supply yields and have already begun to take significant additional volumes from a new Victorian supplier. We are also looking carefully at the creation of new plantations close to our Maryvale Mill,” said Henneberry (pictured).

The proposed multi-million-dollar plant would generate large employment opportunities during construction and through on-going operations. The Maryvale mill is already the largest private employer in the Latrobe Valley.

Luke Chamberlain, campaign manager for Wilderness Society Victoria, said green groups are encouraged to see Australian Paper take recycled products seriously. “We welcome any move towards increased use of recycled material in Australia, but Australian Paper needs to understand that to get its social license it needs to go a lot further than just building a recycled mill.

“We would like to see Australian Paper double or quadruple their current plans for recycled paper content, as they have said only one-in-six reams of communication paper produced in Maryvale would be recycled,” said Chamberlain.

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