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Circular Economy

Focusing on recycling, reducing waste and renewable energy

The Opal Group is focused on the principles of the circular economy.

We are committed to continuing to reduce waste through reuse and recycling. We will also continue to transition our energy usage to renewable sources.

Committed to a circular economy approach

The circular economy creates new possibilities, extending the life of products and resources, to benefit all of society, reduce business costs and our impact on the planet.

Opal is committed to sustainable circular economy business practices that reduce our environmental impact, support our local communities and contribute to a strong economy.

Award-winning sustainable solution

In 2022, Opal collaborated with JBS Foods to create a 100% recyclable corrugated cardboard dunnage solution which won gold in the Sustainable Packaging Design of the Year Industrial subcategory and Outside of the Box Design of the Year category at the PIDA 2022 awards. Dunnage is usually constructed from Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), which can’t be recycled and ends up in landfill. Opal developed an alternative corrugated cardboard dunnage solution to limit product movement during transportation. This initiative supports the phase out of problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging under the 2025 National Packaging Targets by substituting EPS dunnage with a recyclable cardboard solution.

Composting to reduce waste

The PineGro composting operation at Opal’s Maryvale Mill processes pine bark, solid material from effluent treatment and by-products from onsite recycling. These inputs are composted to produce soil conditioning products. In 2021 composting operations at the Maryvale Mill diverted 83,856 tonnes of organic waste from landfill creating products that reduce waste and environmental impact. The Botany Mill provided paper crumble as a composting input for the Hunter Valley in NSW. In addition, excess biomass from the Botany site was re-used as a natural fertiliser to boost crops and pasture growth in the region. A total of 38,197 tonnes of material from Botany was composted through these initiatives in 2021.

Closing the recycling loop

In 2021, Opal’s Botany Mill converted 481,628 tonnes of used recycled fibre into 100% recycled packaging paper. This closed-loop system produced 421,941 tonnes of 100% recycled packaging paper for remanufacturing into high value cardboard boxes.

Victoria's largest generator of baseload renewable energy

Opal’s Maryvale Mill is Victoria’s largest generator of baseload renewable energy through its kraft pulping process which produces black liquor as a renewable energy source. In 2021, the Maryvale site produced 567,177 tonnes of black liquor for steam production, meeting 56% of its thermal energy needs.