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Copex: proudly made in Brittany

Frédéric Malin (middle) at ISRI 2023 with two customers from Brazil.

In honour of Recycling International’s 25th anniversary, we are spotlighting leading industry players over the coming months. This time, it’s Copex, which is celebrating 75 years in the sector.

As a company it’s not so easy to get to 75 years, says Frédéric Malin, owner of French shear manufacturer Copex. ‘Copex has had ups and downs. Fortunately, more ups than downs so we’re still here, passionately serving the global recycling industry with a team of experienced and dedicated people some of whom have been with us for many years.’

Malin joined Copex in 1994 and since 1998 has been majority shareholder and ceo. Copex is a proud company. ‘To come from a small French machine shop to a big manufacturing firm with references in 40 countries worldwide is something to be proud of. I’m also proud of the fact that we still make machines in France. It would probably be a lot cheaper to move our production site in Lorient, Brittany to some low labour cost country but that’s not who we are.’

Malin says it is more challenging to sell a machine to a recycler in Germany than it is to one in somewhere such as Kazakhstan.

‘Don’t get me wrong: it’s nice to ship a shear to a remote part of Asia or South America but for the long term future of Copex it is crucial to build and maintain a solid customer base in leading markets like Europe and the US. Clearly, in these markets we have to compete with other heavyweights. So now that we’ve sold two machines in Germany that opens the door to more business in the future.’

Markets come and go, observes Malin. ‘China used to be a big and promising.  Everybody in the recycling equipment scene was talking about China but that’s all over now. 

‘By the way, we’ve been advertising in Recycling International since the very beginning – that’s 25 years already. So, happy birthday to you, too!’

Read our anniversary issue here >>

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