UK – Wales-based sustainable packaging leader, Transcend Packaging has secured US$10 million (£8m) from Japan’s largest companies, ITOCHU to fuel expansion.
The deal, which Transcend called “the cornerstone” of its latest funding round, will see the Welsh manufacturer ramp up its expansion plans in the UK, Europe, Asia and North America.
Transcend, specializing in food-safe moulded fiber packaging for the retail and catering industries, currently has installed capacity to produce several billion straws per year and will be investing to ramp up its capacity for straws, lids, and other moulded fiber products.
The firm said the new funding round would also see it put a “significant focus” on research and development.
Investor Itochu, one of Japan’s largest diversified trading companies, known as sogo shosha, has a turnover of around US$100 billion (£80.7bn).
Transcend said Itochu’s existing partnership with Metsä made it the ideal company to supply significant volumes of softwood and hardwood pulp.
It added that Itochu’s expertise would likewise prove a powerful aid in its goal of becoming one of the largest moulded fiber producers in Europe.
With 200 employees at its Welsh site and a further 100 spread across its two production sites in Italy and Eastern Europe, Transcend said it was aiming to grow its revenues to more than £35m in 2023.
The investment comes just months before the implementation of extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging in the UK, where companies that turn over £1m or more or produce more than 25 tonnes of packaging annually, have to collect and report their packaging data to the government.
The European Commission has likewise proposed changes to the EU’s Packaging & Packaging Waste Directive, which aims to cut packaging waste and is likely to be adopted in 2024.
Lorenzo Angelucci, Transcend’s CEO said: “Sustainable innovation and an evolving regulatory landscape are continuing to shift priorities in packaging, and we are working with a wide range of leading brands to enhance the sustainability of their packaging portfolios.
“We see moulded fiber as the leading alternative to single-use plastic in a broad range of applications, both to replicate required performance objectives and achieve the potential to be recycled at scale.
“Our partnership with Itochu will allow us to progress from strength to strength as we look to accelerate the pace of sustainable innovation we can provide the market.”
Jin Asada, group director of Itochu Europe added: “As one of Japan’s largest companies, we are committed to supporting the global shift towards sustainability and the realization of a decarbonized society.
“Our investment will help Transcend Packaging expand its reach into new markets and develop one of the largest moulded fiber production facilities in Europe.”
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