Sustainable wastewater treatment designs for recycling industry

Aerofloat (Australia) Pty Ltd

Monday, 03 October, 2022


Sustainable wastewater treatment designs for recycling industry

Recent growth in Australia’s plastics recycling industry has meant a surge in demand for efficient and sustainable wastewater and wash water technology.

“The Australian Government is aiming for 70% of plastic packaging to be recycled or composted by 2025, leading to significant growth in the plastics recycling industry,” said Michael Anderson, GM of Aerofloat.

Over the last decade, Aerofloat has created sustainable wastewater treatment designs for major waste and plastics recycling businesses across Australia.

“We’ve been on the pulse of the plastics recycling technology for years, working with industry leaders including Astron Sustainability, a subsidiary of Pact Group, and Recycled Plastics Australia.”

Australia’s future zero-waste target coupled with a critical shortage of off-shore waste disposal options has forced the government to proactively drive the plastics recycling industry.

“The Chinese Government’s decision to no longer accept Australia’s plastics waste has effectively fast-tracked this industry within Australia,” Anderson said.

“The Australian Government has offered grants to promote a circular plastics economy in response and we’ve seen the industry seize these exciting opportunities.”

Pact Group Australia capitalised on the government grant scheme with its Circular Plastics site in Albury and has embarked on two additional plastics recycling facilities in Victoria. Aerofloat’s design ensured an effective solution for its Albury site and has developed new sustainable solutions for the two Victorian plants.

In Albury, clean wastewater from the system is either re-used as wash water within the plastics recycling facility or discharged to sewer. Aerofloat worked closely with council to ensure its strict guidelines around managing microplastics in its inland waterways were met.

“We ensure that our technology is on point for the needs of the plant whilst also collaborating with councils to ensure the local guidelines are met,” Anderson said.

Both new Victorian sites for Pact Group require new wash lines, with the feeding plastic material coming from both the Material Recovery Facility and general kerbside recycling waste pick-ups.

“At the new Victorian sites, Pact Group will be manufacturing rPET food-grade resin for beverage bottles and creating washed PET flake for use in rPET sheet thermoforming,” he said.

Aerofloat’s knowledge in developing the technology to meet the industry’s needs has been taken advantage of by Pact Group. Aerofloat’s solution means a significant reduction in water use at the sites whilst ensuring the final wastewater is compliant with Greater Western Water’s guidelines when it leaves the site.

“The system allows us to recycle higher quality water back into the wash line to minimise chemical use and conserve water,” Anderson said.

Aerofloat also recently worked with Astron Plastics in Cheltenham to increase the capacity of its wastewater treatment plant following the installation of a new wash line. The solution ensured compliant wastewater that can be reused as wash water within the recycling plant, and an odour-free end product. Any excess wastewater was compliant for discharge to sewer. Aerofloat’s design also provides for future expansion of the facility.

The facility supplies resin from recycled plastics to Pact Group, who can then include it in a large range of food-grade and non-food-grade packaging. The process ultimately meets Pact Group’s vision to create a circular economy.

Aerofloat continues to work closely with the industry to continually improve on and innovate new technology to support Australia as it moves towards its zero-waste target. The company has been awarded for its innovative approach to tackling plastics recycling issues and offers unique, patented designs that support the booming industry.

For more information, contact Aerofloat here.

Image credit: iStock.com/solarseven

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