A firm developing sustainable straws, cartons and cups for leading restaurant chains has secured £10m funding to expand and improve the performance of its products. 

Transcend Packaging, founded in 2017, was the first major producer of paper straws in the UK. It runs a manufacturing facility in South Wales which currently makes 25 million sustainable straws, cartons and cups each week. 

Utilising state-of-the-art digital printing and speciality coating technology, the firm is leading the charge in replacing single-use plastics with its paper- and fibre-based alternatives. 

With bans on plastic straws and other single-use plastics coming into effect in the UK from October 2020 and the EU from April 2021, Transcend has formed partnerships with the likes of McDonald’s, KFC and Starbucks. More than 50 billion plastic straws used in the UK and Europe every year will need to be replaced. 

“We primarily produce paper straws to leading quick service restaurants across the UK and Europe and we’re also working on other projects to remove single use plastic,” a spokesperson told BusinessCloud. 

“Our objective is to replace traditional plastic-based coatings which are currently used for products like paper coffee cups. We are also working on a new-generation natural coating, which will make the container completely water and grease proof, sealable and chillable. 

“The end-of-life of this container will either be widely recycled or home compostable. The nature of our products mean if they fall out of the waste stream, they decompose without impacting the ecosystem.” 

Lorenzo Angelucci

CEO Lorenzo Angelucci

Following a £10m growth equity investment, led by IW Capital, Transcend aims to cement its leadership position in the UK and European marketplaces and expand into the US. 

We will [also] continue to innovate in the paper straw space to enhance performance,” the spokesperson added.  

We are also preparing additional products to remove single-use plastic in the takeaway and grocery spaces. 

Earlier this year Peter Davies, the entrepreneur behind Wrexham firm Biopaxium Technologies, explained the extent of the planet’s plastic pollution problem when we interviewed him about his company’s sustainable ready meal trays. 

Wales is absolutely a leader in sustainable packaging,” the Transcend spokesperson continued. “Wales has a vibrant business community focused on innovation and sustainability.  

What’s even better is that those priorities are supported by the Welsh government and other academic resources, all of whom have aspirations of creating a centre of excellence for sustainable packaging in Wales.  

We have aspirations to lead sustainable innovation globally from Wales and we think the country will play a huge role in combating single use plastics in the UK and abroad. 

Transcend wants to be a global leader in the drive toward greater sustainability globally, by helping national and international brands transition away from single-use plastics.  

The UK and other nations are looking to embark on a ‘green recovery’ post COVID, and we truly feel we can be an important part of the solution to lead a more sustainable world for future generations.” 

Recently the company also developed the first PPE face visor with a Plastic Free trust mark from A Plastic Planet.  

Luke Davis, CEO of IW Capital, said: “While some investors have paused activities due to COVID-19, the underlying quality of businesses and investment opportunities will always be the most important thing.  

This is exactly what we have seen with Transcend; we had huge demand from our investor base to support a business with such a clear growth trajectory that is also helping to combat environmental issues moving forward.  

Lorenzo Angelucci, CEO of Transcend, said: “We are proud to have such a strong partner as IW Capital join our team.  

We believe this validates the path we set upon in 2017 to build a global leader in sustainable packaging.  

We have a long path ahead of us, but with our new partner, we are sure to have the support we need build our vision.”