Amcor, Coles, iQ Renew, Licella, LyondellBasell and Nestlé

SYDNEY, November 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Licella, with the support of Amcor, Coles, iQ Renew, LyondellBasell and Nestlé, has released a report highlighting the potential for creating a local circular economy for soft plastics, with a focus on difficult to mechanically recycle plastics such as food packaging. .

Advanced recycling allows soft plastic waste, such as candy wrappers and bread bags, to be recycled into oil, and then turned into new food-grade packaging in Australia. The study found that the use of oil from waste plastics, in the domestic plastic packaging materials supply chain, saves 64% of CO22 Shorthand compared to crude oil.1

The study identified Altoona in Victoria as the best location for an advanced recycling facility, given the area’s existing infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities. It is an opportunity to establish Victoria and Australia as a leader in this emerging new industry.

If the new facility is built, it will provide a boost to local industry, with the potential to create more than 300 new jobs in Victoria over the next five years. The facility could also contribute more than $100 million annually to the Victorian economy.

The report comes as the result of a feasibility study that showed that a circular economy of plastics is not only possible but essential for Australia to meet its national waste policy commitments. As Australia’s national packaging targets require the industry to use an average of 50% of recycled content in packaging by 2025, the demand for recycled content, especially food plastic, is expected to grow exponentially.2

The advanced recycling facility would be Australia’s first plant if built and provide an opportunity to divert up to 120,000 tons, or 24%, of the plastic waste sent to landfill each year in Victoria alone.3 With over 500,000 tons of plastic going to landfills in Victoria every year1The proposed facility would be an essential step towards a more sustainable future for plastics in Australia.

The proposed advanced recycling facility will use an innovative Australian technology called Cat-HTR™ (Hydrothermal Catalytic Reactor), a form of hydrothermal liquefaction technology developed by Licella.

If built, the proposed facility will initially process 20,000 tons per year of plastic waste, and produce 17,000 tons of oil per year, which can be used in the local plastics supply chain. The facility can be expanded to process 120,000 tons of plastic waste annually, resulting in the production of approximately 100,000 tons of recycled food-grade plastic annually.

The system-wide transformation required for Australia to achieve its plastic recycling goals needs local initiatives, such as those outlined in this report, to bear fruit. Collaboration across industry and government is essential to drive this change.

The report is available online at

for more information:
Licella: Andrea Polson,, +61433464675

Licella has developed the patented Hydrothermal Reactor (Cat-HTR™) platform – the world’s most commercially advanced hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) technology. HTL is the “next generation” of advanced recycling, chemically converting low-value feedstock into oil, which can be refined into fuels and high-value chemicals. With over A$100 million invested over 13 years, Cat-HTR™ technology is commercially ready and proven across a wide range of feedstocks, including end-of-life mixed plastics. The Cat-HTR™ process delivers plastic waste 3-4 times more value and 45% less CO22 Waste-to-energy emissions. Cat-HTR™ produces approximately 85% of oil, with the scale turning to gas that can power the reactor. For more information, please visit

the reviewer

1 Based on preliminary research by Lifecycles (2021)
2 2017-18 Australian Plastic Recycling Survey – National Report
3 Based on data from the 2020 National Waste Report and preliminary research by consultancy Envisage Works (2021)

Related files


Media Release_23 November 2021_ Feasibility Study Report Issuance FINAL.pdf

Related Images

Photo 1: Licella Cat-HTR Commercial Pilot Plant in Australia

Commercial-scale reactors for Lisila’s Cat-HTR Advanced Recycling Technology – the world’s first circular economy showcase for plastics.

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  • Licella Cat-HTR Commercial Pilot Plant in Australia


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