UK-based thermoforming packaging company Waddington Europe has partnered with post-consumer waste recycler and reprocessor Shabra to secure the long-term supply of food-grade recycled PET (rPET).

Waddington Europe will use rPET sourced from bottles, pots, tubs and trays to produce packaging products at its facility in Arklow, Ireland.

Through the partnership, the company will expand its Eco Blend product line, which is produced using post-consumer recycled content sourced domestically in Ireland.

Waddington Europe managing director Eduardo Gomes said: “Collectively, we hope these new agreements will advance our stake in localised plastics circularity in the Irish market.

“We need to start moving to a more holistic and long-term view when it comes to the lifecycle and environmental impact of food-grade packaging.

“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.

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“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.

“Additionally, governments are noticing how local recycling and closed-loop economies generate revenue and drive local job creation.”

Shabra recently invested in sorting lines and a reprocessing facility.

The reprocessing facility provides intensively washed rPET flake to be used directly in thermoforming and packaging.

The company uses the latest Buhler flake sorters to remove contamination.

Shabra CEO Rita Shah said: “By keeping Irish plastic packaging waste in an Irish recycling system, we are confident that we can offer forward-thinking customers like Waddington Europe long-term savings, less reliance on foreign external suppliers, a positive public perception and increased customer loyalty.”

Owned by Novolex, Waddington Europe operates production sites in Milton Keynes and Bridgewater, UK, and Arklow, Ireland.

The company’s Eco-Products and Eureka Caterware sales offices are located in the Netherlands.