Eco Plastics, a Hemswell, U.K., plastics recycling company, has raised £6 million (US$9.656 million) in a second round of financing that will allow the company to expand its operations.
The Ludgate Environmental Fund, a private equity firm that targets the cleantech industry, is part of a group that provided Eco Plastics with the funding. The company already has invested with the company. Other parties that have provided funding for Eco Plastics included the private equity firm Robeco SAM, and Close Brothers, which is Eco Plastics’ existing debt provider.
Eco Plastics’ facility is capable of processing 150,000 metric tons of mixed plastics a year, including around 40,000 metric tons of bottle-grade recycled PET pellet. Eco Plastics says its Hemswell site is the largest and most sophisticated of its kind in the world.
The company’s first round of funding, made in July 2011, raised £24 million (US$38.7 million). That funding was used to finance ECO Plastics’ Continuum joint venture with Coca-Cola Enterprises, an agreement that more than doubled the U.K.’s recycled PET production. In February 2012, Eco Plastics received a £1.5 million (US$2.4 million) loan from WRAP to expand its rigid plastic sorting facilities.
Jonathan Short, ECO Plastics’ managing director, says, “ECO Plastics is now ready to tackle another period of rapid growth. 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.”
ECO Plastics started re-processing post-consumer plastics in 2006. Over the past five years the company has invested more than £17 million (US$24 million) to quadruple its processing capacity and triple its factory footprint. During early 2009 the company says it became the first company in the country to receive food grade accreditation for its recycled PET resin.