Australian Paper takes on cheap imports with $90m recycled paper plant

The Maryvale facility will begin operating in early 2014, and will generate 250 fulltime equivalent jobs and produce Australasia’s greenest recycled papers, according to Australian Paper.

That will differentiate its products from the less environmentally friendly imports coming of Indonesia, China and Thailand, added the manufacturer.

The general manager of corporate social responsibility, Shaun Scallan, told ProPrint that with the high Australian dollar making imports cheaper, it was important to have a point of difference.

He said it would also make Australian Paper’s higher-priced exports more appealing.

The fate of the recycling plant hung in the balance for six months while Australian Paper’s parent, Nippon Paper Group, considered its viability.

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Australian Paper announced on 10 October that Nippon had approved the project after it received strong support from the Federal government, Victorian government, Latrobe City council, major customers, environmental groups and unions.

Chief executive Jim Henneberry said it was “good news for the environment and for Australian jobs”.

“It will divert up to 80,000 tonnes of waste-paper from landfill each year and more than triple our current usage of premium recycled fibre,” he said.

“By 2015 almost all of our office and stationery papers will contain a range of recycled content to meet Australia’s needs.”

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