AUSTRALIA – Asahi Beverages, one of the leading beverage companies in Australia and New Zealand, has inaugurated the US$55 million upgraded Wulkuraka manufacturing plant in South-East Queensland.

Two new bottling lines including a new hot-fill and blow-fill line were added to the factory, along with a 39 m-tall warehouse to facilitate drinks being shipped around Australia.

Asahi Beverages Group CEO Robert Iervasi: Our $55 million investment has created a world-class Queensland manufacturing site. It has also nearly doubled the site’s annual production capacity to 300 million liters.”

 It shows Asahi Beverages’ confidence in the long-term future of manufacturing in Australia and in Queensland specifically.”

This latest expansion investment brings Asahi’s investment at the plant, which produces Schweppes, Solo, and Pepsi Max, to more than US$100 million in the last five years.

The recent expansion will see Cool Ridge water, Lipton Iced Tea, and Pop Tops juice also added to the site’s production portfolio.

Iervasi noted that the most exciting part of the new investment is the new hot-fill and blow-fill line, which will make Lipton Iced Tea and Pop-Tops.

The plant will now produce 300 million liters of non-alcoholic beverages a year.

The line’s innovative design means these drinks will be made without preservatives and using bottles inflated on-site from small pieces of preformed plastic which are more sustainable than pre-inflated bottes.

Iervasi also noted that the line will help the beverage manufacturer reach its sustainability goal of reducing Scope 3 carbon emissions across its entire supply chain by 30 percent by 2030 and will also reduce carbon emissions in its operations by 50 percent by 2025.

Asahi’s sustainability commitments include being a founding member of the ANZPAC Plastics Pact to create a circular economy for plastics.

The beverage maker is also part of Circular Plastics Australia, a joint venture with beverage competitor Coca-Cola Europacific partners, Pact Group, and Cleanaway Waste Management. The JV opened its first US$45 million PET recycling plant in March.

Nearly all of Asahi’s 450ml and 600ml soft drink bottles are already made with recycled PET, but its goal is to have transitioned all bottles to 100 percent recycled or eco-friendly materials by 2030.

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