Thermoforming packaging specialist Waddington Europe has signed a supply agreement with Shabra, Ireland’s leading recycler and reprocessor of post-consumer waste. Under the agreement, Waddington Europe will purchase food-grade recycled PET sourced from bottles, pots, tubs and trays to manufacture new rPET food packaging products at its Arklow production site in Ireland.
WaddingtonEurope is the European thermoforming division of Novolex, a leading manufacturer of paper and plastic packaging and food service products. This agreement with Shabra helps to further secure its long-term source of rPET, underscoring the company’s aim to move to a more holistic and long-term view when it comes to the lifecycle and environmental impact of food-grade packaging.
It will also enable the company to expand its line of Eco Blend products made with post-consumer recycled content sourced domestically in Ireland back into the Irish market.
“Collectively, we hope these new agreements will advance our stake in localised plastics circularity in the Irish market,” said Eduardo Gomes, Managing Director of Waddington Europe. It’s just as important to consider the carbon footprint at its start of life as the environmental impact at the end of its life. Keeping the packaging ‘closed-loop’ economy as local as possible helps to ensure the carbon footprint stays as low as possible. It also utilises waste as a resource and keeps it out of landfills.”
Shabra has recently invested heavily in new sorting lines and a reprocessing facility, which provides intensively washed rPET flake for use directly into the thermoforming and packaging sector. The company is committed to sustainability and a circular economy, among others, by keeping Irish plastic packaging waste in an Irish recycling system, said Rita Shah, CEO of Shabra.
“On a macro level, the localised economic model can increase jobs and innovation, the security of raw material supply and consumer savings, as well as reduce damaging pressures on the environment.”
She added that Shabra had expansion plans for 2022 that will the company to double its output.
According to Gomes, the deal will also beneft Waddington Europe’s Irish customers in various different ways.
“Our customers are beginning to realise that if they develop these circular supply chains, they can reduce manufacturing costs and provide consumers with more sustainable products,” Gomes said.”
Moreover, local recycling and closed-loop economies generate revenue and drive local job creation.
“It gives us a competitive advantage to show that the products we sell are made from waste plastic generated in Ireland itself. Consumers can see the benefits of their efforts to recycle their plastic food packaging, and we hope it could even help shape our future regulation,” he added.
Waddington Europe operates three production sites in Milton Keynes and Bridgewater in the UK, Arklow, IR and Eco-Products and Eureka Caterware sales offices in Holland. Parent company Novolex operates 57 manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe, including two world-class plastic film recycling centres. The company employs some 10,000 people.