The impact of a first-of-its-kind facility that would turn plastic into petrol and diesel will be investigated by a special panel of experts convened by the ACT Government.

The panel will examine the impacts of the plant, which has been proposed by FOY Group for an industrial site at Hume in Canberra’s south.

Concerns raised by the public during consultations included emissions from the plant, public health impacts, and proximity to nearby homes in suburbs like Gilmore and MacArthur.

Acting director-general of the ACT Environment Department Gary Rake said the extra scrutiny was warranted given the unique proposal.

“This proposal plans to use very innovative, state-of-the-art technology, it’s not something that we’ve had to consider before in the ACT,” he said.

“So it’s pretty important that we develop an equally innovative and state-of-the-art approach to assessment, regulation and decision making.”

The proposed plant would use technology patented by FOY Group, which turns non-recyclable plastics into petrol and diesel.

The design simplifies overseas technologies which convert plastics into crude oil, which can then be refined into fuel.

Greens hold concerns over proposed plant

It is estimated the completed plant would divert 200 tonnes of plastic from landfill each day.

However ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury said he had concerns about the facility.

“There are still a lot of unanswered questions around this proposed facility, such as the environmental impact of pollution … the impact on nearby residents, and particularly why this facility was not approved in NSW when it was first proposed there,” he said.

“There’s no real clear answer at this stage, we do … need to really investigate.

“We need to make sure that it’s not a form of greenwashing, that we’re not seeing a dirty process dressed up as something that can deliver environmental benefits, and in fact doesn’t.”

The panel will begin work later this month, and is expected to finalise its report by the end of April.

Extracted from ABC.