A Welsh packaging firm set-up last year is doubling its workforce after winning a major contract with fast food giant McDonald's. Transcend Packaging in Ebbw Vale, Blaenau Gwent, currently employs 20 people and said its new contract will lead to an extra 30 jobs.
The fast food giant will replace plastic straws with paper ones in all UK and Ireland outlets this autumn. McDonald's, which uses 1.8 million straws a day in the UK, said the change to paper straws came following “wider public debate”. Most straws are made from plastics such as polypropylene and polystyrene, which unless recycled take hundreds of years to decompose. Many end up in landfill and the oceans, harming marine wildlife in the process.
Managing Director, Lorenzo Angelucci said:
I am delighted that McDonald's has taken this visionary step towards reducing the environmental impact of the food industry,”
Sales director Mark Varney said:
“Although we are a new company, between us the board of directors has more than 250 years in the packaging industry,” he said.
“There wasn't a Dragons' Den style pitch involved, but we got together with McDonald's and talked about how we could supply environmentally friendly products.
“We talked about Sir David Attenborough's Blue Planet II series as well – and the big effect that it has had.”
Transcend – which received a Welsh Government grant – is due to start production of the straws in August and it is expected to create an extra 30 jobs for the Blaenau Gwent business.
Economy Secretary Ken Skates said:
Transcend's “proactive approach” was helping to create Welsh jobs, a well as helping to “significantly reduce the amount of single use plastic used by one of the biggest names in the business”.
“The Welsh Government is proud to be working hard to support such an ethical and forward looking business,” he added.