ECOPlastics changes name to Evolve Polymers

Hemswell-based plastic bottle recycling firm ECOPlastics Recycling Ltd has re-branded as Evolve Polymers, as it seeks to re-establish itself as one of the major players in the UK plastics recycling industry.

According to a statement, Evolve Polymers claims that it will seek to build ‘long term partnerships’ with the UK waste industry and “further the circular economy via the increased usage of recycled polymers in the packaging industry.”

The £15 million rPET bottle recycling facility in Hemswell, Lincolnshire
The £15 million rPET bottle recycling facility in Hemswell, Lincolnshire

The company emerged out of the ashes of the bottle sorting and recycling firm Eco Plastics, which went into pre-pack administration in December 2014, with debts totalling more than £14 million.

A new company named ECOPlastics Recycling was immediately set up and bought out by German investment firm Aurelius (see story). This has now been stripped of any remaining links to its predecessor company, through its re-branding as Evolve Polymers last month.


The company went through a significant upheaval in the 12 months following the takeover, with key staff including founder Jonathan Short, commercial director Duncan Oakes and technical director Simon Faulkner all departing (see story).

It also shifted its buying strategy, moving away from the large-scale purchase of mixed plastic bottles to focus on procuring a high quality pre-sorted PET material.

This means that the flagship Hemswell bottle sorting facility, which was set up with the help of investment from WRAP and Coca Cola Enterprises is operating lower than its overall 150,000 tonnes per year capacity, but Evolve Polymers claims that it is now producing 50,000 tonnes per year of rPET flake and food grade pellets for supply to the market. In addition Evolve Polymers manufactures washed PET, PP and PE flakes.

Commenting on the move, Evolve Polymers chief executive Chris Brown, said: “The new name is a further positive change for the business, and more accurately reflects our position as a supplier of recycled polymers.”

Investment firm Aurelius further increased its stake in the UK plastics recycling sector in 2015 with the acquisition of the West Yorkshire-based Regain Polymers (see story). The company operates a 50,000 tonnes-per-year capacity plastics compounding facility, where it processes rigid plastic polypropylene, polyethylene and high impact polystyrene.

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