PET manufacturer to tackle single-use plastics thanks to £9m funding

Posted on 17 Feb 2021 by James Devonshire

Leeds-based Esterpet has secured £9m in funding to help satisfy the demand for recycled PET – or rPET - and tackle single-use plastics, lowering their environmental impact.

The management behind the UK’s largest independent producer of PET bottles and containers aim to take the lead in the fight against single-use plastics thanks to a £9m boost.

Leeds-based Esterpet, set up by the management of Esterform Packaging, was launched to satisfy 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 Government requirements.

Now Esterform management – supported by major clients such as Britvic – are tackling the issue through the launch of their own food grade rPET production business in the form of Esterpet.

Mark Tyne, managing director and founder of Esterform, 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 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.

“We have a long relationship with Shawbrook, who have been a true partner in supporting previous Esterform projects in the past.”

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 rPET converter lines.

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 – capable of producing more than 13,000 tonnes of rPET each.

The funding will also provide funds for Esterform to build out its non-beverage tooling library, as it looks to diversify into non-beverage sectors.

Kelly Henney, senior director at Shawbrook Bank, said: “Esterform and Esterpet are helping their customer base eet Government targets for using recycled materials through their new production lines.

“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.”

* All images courtesy of Esterpet