UK plastic bottle recycling firm ECO Plastics has been acquired by pan-European investor Aurelius.
As a result of the acquisition, Coca Cola Enterprises (CCE) has ‘decided not to continue’ with its ‘Continuum Recycling’ joint venture with ECO Plastics, with CCE instead entering into a ‘long-term agreement’ to source recycled PET from the company.
Aurelius – which has offices in Munich, London, Stockholm and Madrid – said it would supply both financial support and ‘highly specialised operational improvement capabilities’ to ECO Plastics’ current operations, with a ‘core focus on the long-term strategic development of the business’.
ECO Plastics, which is capable of sorting around 150,000 tonnes a year of waste plastic bottles at its Hemswell bottle recycling plant in Lincolnshire, had been seeking a buyer after being affected by a downturn in the PET market, which has seen the value of rPET – the plant’s primary product – fall.
Aurelius described the Hemswell plant, which processes around 35% of the total UK bottle collection in the UK every year, as one of ‘the world’s largest and most sophisticated plastic reprocessing plants’ and praised ECO Plastics’ rPET product for ‘delivering value to local authorities and the waste management industry through feedstock contracting’.
ECO Plastics has had investment in its £15m sorting and wash plant from both the Waste & Resources Action Plan (WRAP) and also Coca Cola Enterprises (CCE), as part of the joint venture ‘Continuum Recycling’ to supply Coca Cola with the recycled plastic needed to meet its pledge to include 25% of the recycled plastics in its bottles.
The acquisition has been welcomed by CCE, with a spokesperson for the drinks manufacturer commenting: “We are pleased that ECO Plastics has found a buyer to support the next stage in the development of the UK’s most important supplier of food-grade recycled PET.
“As part of the financial agreement, Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd has agreed not to continue with the joint venture, Continuum Recycling. In return, CCE has entered into a long-term agreement to source recycled PET from Eco Plastics.
The spokesperson added: “This new arrangement will ensure that CCE continues to use a minimum of 25% rPET in our plastic bottles in Great Britain, allowing us to deliver on our commitments to set the standard for sustainable packaging.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
World Beverage Innovation Awards – NOW OPEN FOR ENTRIES!
The awards celebrate excellence and innovation across the global beverage industry.
Don’t miss out on having your innovations recognised on a global scale.
Deadline for entries 23 July – enter now!
Don’t get left behind
Start your free Foodbev magazine trial today and join thousands of fellow industry professionals in receiving food and drink trends direct to our business.
Click here to start your free trial