US PET recycler completes acquisition of Evolve Polymers

Evolve Polymers, one of the largest plastics recyclers in Europe, has been sold to US-based Plastipak Packaging, it was announced yesterday (3 November).

US PET recycler completes acquisition of Evolve PolymersFormerly ECO Plastics, the Lincolnshire-based company, which processes PET bottles into recycled flake and food grade pellets, became Evolve Polymers earlier this year after a period of upheaval following a takeover in December 2014. That purchase, by investment company AURELIUS, followed the company being forced into finding a buyer due to ‘operational challenges and unfavourable market conditions’, including the fall of the price of virgin plastic against recycled material.

In 2012, the company opened what it called at the time the ‘world’s largest plastics processing facility’ in Hemswell Cliff to go with its PET bottle recycling facility, which was expanded to process 150,000 tonnes of PET a year to mark the beginning of a venture with Coca-Cola Enterprises to more than double the amount of bottle-grade recycled PET produced in the UK each year.

However, CCE pulled out of the venture following the takeover by AURELIUS and three months later the company’s founder and then-Deputy Chairman Jonathan Short resigned.

Plastipak Packaging Inc. is an American manufacturer of rigid plastic packaging and virgin and recycled plastic resin, with 38 facilities in North America, South America and Europe. It already has a site in Wrexham, acquired through a takeover of plastics recycler APPE last year, which also acts as its European headquarters.

Business as usual

Commenting on the takeover, Martin Hargreaves, Managing Director of Plastipak Europe, said: “Evolve’s prior owners invested significant resources to build the Hemswell Cliff site starting in 2006, and the business’s performance benefitted from continuous improvements.

US PET recycler completes acquisition of Evolve Polymers“We currently operate plastic recycling operations in the US through our Clean Tech subsidiary, and in France and Luxembourg for our European customers. This acquisition complements our existing recycling businesses, and amplifies our ability to bring our world-class technologies and know-how to better serve our UK and European-based customers.” 

Plastipak says that the facility (right) will begin to operate under its ownership immediately, with business as usual, and that ‘contracts with Evolve’s existing key business partners have been secured for continued effect’.

Frank Pollock, President of Plastipak’s International Operations and Chief Commercial Officer, added: “We are excited to begin collaborating further with the management and associates formerly employed by Evolve to provide more eco-friendly plastic packaging to consumers.”

A statement from AURELIUS said that the two companies have agreed not to reveal the financial details of the acquisition, and that the investment group is to ‘concentrate all its activities in the field of plastic recycling at its Regain Polymers subsidiary based in Allerton Bywater, UK’.

More information about Plastipak can be found on the company’s website.

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