Welsh company offers sustainable alternative to single-use plastic

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UK-based sustainable packaging company Transcend Packaging is strategically partnering with Zume, a global provider of compostable packaging solutions, to bring large-scale molded fiber products to Europe.

Together, Transcend and Zume have the ambition to save billions of single-use plastic pieces from landfills every year, with the aim of having a global impact as brands strive to improve the performance of their packaging at the end of their useful life.

Zume provides sustainable packaging solutions for some of the largest Quick Service Retail (QSR) brands using a unique technology stack of hardware, software and services to replace plastic packaging with molded fiber alternatives. Currently, plastic packaging is a $390 billion industry and until today, there was no economically viable substitute to move away from plastic. By partnering with Transcend, the partnership aims to create viable, cost-effective solutions by bridging the needs of global brands with the capabilities of forward-thinking manufacturers.

The multi-million pound deal will see the creation of one of the largest specialist molded fiber production facilities in Europe. Site assessments regarding the exact location are currently underway, with the aim of being fully functional by mid-2023. Launched to market with molded fiber snap lids for hot beverage cups, the goal is to initially create 500 million units of capacity by September 2023, enabling major global food and beverage companies and the main QSR brands to have a solution immediately available.

Dedicated to the production of sustainable and compostable packaging, locating the factory in Europe, all packaging can be manufactured without compromising on performance or price, while offering truly class-leading speed and customization. The new production facility in Europe will add to Zume’s already global network of factories in North America and India, with others in the planning stages in Latin America and Canada to further expand capacity and meet customer needs. global brands. Under the partnership, Transcend will be the exclusive distributor of Zume’s molded fiber lids in Europe, and Zume’s global customers will have access to Transcend’s product catalog.

Zume’s partnership with ABB Robotics enables them to create molded fiber products using state-of-the-art manufacturing cells and robotic machinery around the world. Zume’s process utilizes millions of tons of diverse global biomass and converts natural plant fibers into advanced molded fiber products. Not only does this help reduce the global reliance on single-use plastics by sequestering agricultural waste, but it also reduces carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Zume’s proprietary packaging solution is PFAS-free, backed by a partnership with Solenis, one of the world’s leading producers of specialty chemicals, and designed to replace entire categories of single-use plastic without harmful chemicals.

Lorenzo Angelucci, CEO of Transcend Packaging, said:

“Many brands know they need to aim for higher levels of sustainability in their packaging, but knowing where to start and navigating the tricky landscape is a challenge. Companies need to relearn how they think about packaging in order to move towards sustainable alternatives that can be recycled on a large scale.

“We are thrilled to work with Zume – using cutting-edge technology, as they have helped help some of the world’s leading brands go beyond plastics and EPS foam products. Through our partnership and by creating a state-of-the-art production plant in Europe, we hope to continue this hard work and encourage European companies to take the next step, to challenge their perceptions and show how viable new alternatives can be at performance and customer expectations.

“As we plan to expand into new markets and international production in early 2023, we knew it was essential to select a company that aligned with our philosophy and mission while providing the logistics infrastructure and capabilities necessary to achieve this vision. Zume is that perfect fit. It’s clear that there is a bright future for sustainable packaging that is aligned with current and pending legislation, as more and more brands challenge their current assumptions and research creative alternatives.

Alex Garden, President and CEO of Zume, said:

“For global brands, maintaining the status quo with the use of plastic is no longer a viable strategy. The proof will be in the hands of the brands that put a plan in place and see it through. Zume aims to provide businesses a path beyond plastic. This partnership with Transcend aims to further expand our ability to drive real change and replace plastic with an economically viable solution that works like plastic without the harms of plastic. I admire the passion of the Transcend team for using science and technology to make the world a more sustainable place and I look forward to the huge impact we will have together.

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