United Kingdom – One of Europe’s largest PET bottle recyclers, ECO Plastics, has raised £24 million (US$ 38.4 million) to drive expansion at its Hemswell facility in the east of England.
The news follows the announcement in March this year of a joint venture with Coca-Cola Enterprises which will more than double British production of food-grade recycled material (rPET) for soft drinks packaging.
The expansion will increase overall processing capacity at the plant from 100 000 tonnes to 140 000 tonnes of plastic bottles per annum – equivalent to just under half the total collected in the UK last year. The expanded Lincolnshire facility is scheduled to be fully operational during 2012.
The funds include a £5 million (US$ 8 million) equity investment by Ludgate Environmental Fund Ltd and a previously-announced £5 million from Coca-Cola Enterprises to form the joint venture; the balance is funded through new banking facilities.
The funds not only support the construction and operation of the expansion but also provide the investment required to build and operate the joint venture business that will supply rPET to Coca-Cola Enterprises over the next ten years. Peter Gangsted, Chairman of ECO Plastics, comments: ‘We will recycle used British packaging in Lincolnshire, for reuse in packaging sold in Britain. We are delighted that the markets have recognised the value of this model. The UK sustainable packaging market has huge growth potential and our expansion will make ECO Plastics a world leader.’