A plastics recycling firm handling about 10 percent of the recovered beverage containers in the U.K. has laid off employees and is working to stave off a total shutdown.
Euro Closed Loop Recycling laid off 32 staff and cut hours for 12 additional staff on June 29, according to a letter from Afzal Majid, one of the company owners, to industry stakeholders. The London-area plant is also currently operating on a four-day work week, he wrote. The letter was uploaded on letsrecycle.com.
“This, however, is not sustainable and it is therefore our intention to cease production and lay off an additional 60 staff on [July 8] unless a solution can be found,” Majid wrote.
According to the company, its Dagenham, U.K. facility can process 38,580 tons of PET and HDPE per year. It has struggled to stay afloat under the squeeze of higher prices it has had to pay for bales as it competes with overseas buyers and the difficulty of selling recycled plastics at a price that’s competitive with virgin resins.
Majid said the company is currently losing the equivalent of about $328,000 a month.
Majid is one of the owners of Dubai-based investment company Euro Capital, which purchased Closed Loop Recycling in May after it had gone into administration, a bankruptcy procedure for insolvent businesses. The company at that point changed its name to Euro Closed Loop Recycling.
The company says it needs help from stakeholders in order to preserve the Dairy Roadmap, a dairy industry environmental commitment that includes goals of 30 percent recycled content for milk jugs by this year and 50 percent by 2020. The company has been the U.K.’s biggest supplier of recycled HDPE for use in milk jugs, and company CEO Chris Dow has said the business’ priority is continuing to support Dairy Roadmap goals.
In a statement, Dow said Euro Closed Loop is in discussions with major players in the supply chain to help save the company.