ECO’s rapid growth plan

SUSTAINABLE packaging specialist ECO Plastics has secured a £6m funding package that will allow the firm to expand its operations during the coming year.
Existing shareholders of the Lincolnshire business, Ludgate Environmental Fund and Robeco SAM Private Equity, are providing capital for what the company described as “short-term added-value” opportunities.
“ECO Plastics is now ready to tackle another period of rapid growth,” said managing director Jonathan Short. “We have made huge progress over the last three years and this investment leaves us ideally positioned to continue to develop our state-of-the-art facilities and to take advantage of any other expansion opportunities that arise.”
In addition, the company’s existing debt provider, Close Brothers, has committed additional working capital facilities to support growing sales revenues.
Its Hemswell site is already capable of processing 150,000 tonnes of mixed plastics a year, including some 40,000 tonnes of bottle-grade rPET pellet.
The funding round is the second that ECO Plastics has embarked upon within the last 18 months, following a successful £24m investment in 2011.
Those monies were used to finance ECO Plastics’ Continuum joint venture with Coca-Cola Enterprises, a landmark agreement which more than doubled the UK’s rPET production. In February, the company also announced a £1.5m loan from WRAP to expand its rigid plastic sorting facilities.
Short added: “The fact that we have been able to raise this money in what remain financially straitened times, is a testimony to our shareholders’ on-going confidence in the company and the management team’s strategy. We look forward to continuing to grow the business with them.”