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Welsh Firm to Deliver a Sustainable Alternative to Single-Use Plastic


UK-based sustainable packaging company, Transcend Packaging, is strategically joining forces with Zume, a global provider of compostable packaging solutions, to bring moulded fibre products on a large-scale to Europe.

Together, Transcend and Zume have the ambition to save billions of pieces of single-use plastic from landfill annually, aiming to make an impact globally as brands move to enhance how their packaging performs at the end of its useful life.

Zume provides sustainable packaging solutions for some of the largest Quick Service Retail (QSR) brands using a single tech stack of hardware, software, and services to swap out plastic packaging with moulded fibre alternatives. Currently, plastic packaging is a $390B industry and until today, there has been no economically viable substitute to move away from plastic. By joining forces with Transcend, the partnership aims to create viable, cost-effective solutions by building a bridge between the needs of global brands and the capabilities of forward-thinking manufacturers.

The multi-million-pound deal will see the one of the largest specialist moulded fibre production facilities created in Europe. Site assessments regarding exact location are currently being conducted, with the aim of being fully functional by mid-2023. Launching to market with moulded fibre snap lids for hot beverage cups, the aim is to initially create 500 million units of capacity by September 2023, enabling large global food and beverage companies and leading QSR brands to have an immediately available solution.

Dedicated to producing packaging that is durable and compostable, by localising the facility in Europe all packaging can be made without compromising on performance or price, while at the same time offering speed and customisation that is truly category leading .The new production facility in Europe will add to Zume’s already global network of factories in North America and India, with more in planning stages in Latin America and Canada to further expand capacity and meet the needs of global brands. Under the partnership, Transcend will be the exclusive distributor of Zume’s moulded fibre lids in Europe, and Zume’s global customers will have access to Transcend’s catalogue of products.

Zume’s partnership with ABB Robotics enables them to create moulded fibre products using state of the art manufacturing cells and robotic machinery worldwide. Zume’s process takes millions of tonnes of various global biomass and converts the natural plant fibres into advanced moulded fibre products. Not only does this help to reduce the global reliance on single-use plastics by sequestering agricultural waste, it also reduces carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere. Zume’s proprietary packaging solution is PFAS-free, backed by a partnership with Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals, and built 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 begin and navigating the tricky landscape is challenge. Businesses need to re-learn how they think about packaging in order to move toward sustainable alternatives that can be recycled at scale.

“We’re excited to work with Zume – using world-leading technology, as they have been instrumental in helping some of the biggest global brands move beyond plastics and EPS foam products. Through our partnership, and by creating a state of the art production facility in Europe, we hope to continue this hard work and encourage businesses in Europe to take the next step, challenge their perceptions and showcase how viable new alternatives can be in meeting both performance and customer expectations.

“As we look ahead to scaling into new markets and international production in the early part of 2023, we knew it was vital to select a company matching our ethos and mission while providing the logistical infrastructure and capabilities to make this vision come true. Zume is that perfect fit. It is clear there is a bright future for sustainable packaging that is aligned with current and pending legislation as more brands challenge their current assumptions and look for creative alternatives.”

Alex Garden, Zume’s Chairman and CEO, said:

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