The management behind the UK’s largest independent producer of PET bottles and containers is taking a leading position in the fight against single-use plastics thanks to a £9m funding boost.
Leeds-based Esterpet Ltd, set up by the management of Esterform Packaging Ltd, was launched to satisfy a growing demand for recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) products in the UK.
Following a government tax on plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled raw material, demand for recycled PET – or rPET – is now outstripping supply.
An estimated 100,000 tonnes of rPET is needed across the UK PET container sector as organisations look to conform to the Government requirements.
Now Esterform management – supported by major clients such as Britvic – is tackling the issue head on through the launch of their own food grade rPET production business in the form of Esterpet.
Mark Tyne, Managing Director and Founder of Esterform Packaging Ltd, said: “There is widespread concern from manufacturers and consumers about the use of single use plastics and the impact on the environment including its green credentials.
“Together with Britvic, one of our largest customers who supported the establishment and launch of the Esterpet business, we are tackling that issue head-on through this funding from Shawbrook Bank.
“That funding support has allowed us to purchase two custom-built Starlinger rPET production lines which will be the most advanced mechanical process for rPET in the UK. Both lines will position us as one of the leading rPET producers in the UK. It is a project that we are proud of and excited about in equal measure.”
Mark added: “We have a long relationship with Shawbrook, who have been a true partner in supporting previous Esterform projects in the past. With this project, it ticked all of the boxes for them and is one that – as a specialist in this industry – they understood immediately both in terms of the business need and indeed the wider industry need.”
In making a move against single-use plastics, part of Esterform’s Sherburn-in-Elmet site in Leeds was re-developed with a new 18m-high building erected to house up to three identical rPET converter lines. The rPET produced from those new lines will be supplied to Esterform clients against contracts with customers for use in preform/container production.
Shawbrook Bank, a specialist lender to UK SMEs, is providing asset finance facilities totalling £9m for the purchase of two Starlinger recoSTAR PET 165 HC iV+ production lines – producing more than 13,000 tonnes of rPET each. The funding will also provide funds for Esterform to enable them to build out their non-beverage tooling library as they look to diversify into non-beverage sectors.
Kelly Henney, Senior Director at Shawbrook Bank, said: “Esterform and Esterpet are helping their customer base to meet Government targets for using recycled materials through their new Starlinger production lines, which makes them the largest producer of food grade rPET in the UK.
“At Shawbrook, we pride ourselves on supporting ambitious and innovative SMEs in the UK through specialist funding facilities and this project with Esterform via Esterpet is a great fit for us.
“We have also been incredibly impressed by Esterform MD, Mark Tyne, who is a prominent figure in the British plastics industry and has steered the business in a way that complements current thinking and elevates the environmental credentials of Esterform and Esterpet.
“This project is a real statement of intent by Esterform and one that we are delighted to be supporting and associated with.”