Region: West Midlands
Location: West Bromwich
Programme: ENABLE Guarantees
Based near West Bromwich, West Midlands, Aeroplas is a manufacturer of thermo injection moulding products. With over 20 years’ experience, they specialise in manufacturing shrub containers, thermo pots, transport tray, bedding plant packs, coat hangers, tumblers, glasses, trays and plates.
Producing over 100 million plant pots per year, Aeroplas were conscious of the environmental impact their products were having. These traditional black plastic plant pots were mainly ending up in landfill or incinerators as they cannot be recycled due to the nature of black plastic, which conflicts with current recycling machinery, blocking beams of light which are needed to sort and categorise waste.
Aeroplas worked with recycling charity, RECOUP, to develop a new eco-plant pot range from recycled plastics that can be recognised and sorted by recycling detection technology and would be suitable for kerbside recycling. However, to support the production of their new taupe-coloured pot, made from carbon black-free, recycled polypropylene, new production machinery was needed.
Aeroplas were able to secure £171,000 of asset finance via Barclay’s Green Lease Purchase product, supported by the British Business Bank’s ENABLE Guarantee scheme, which provided Aeroplas with the flexible funding they needed along with an additional environmental accreditation. This finance was used to facilitate the purchase of a new injection moulding machine.
Since receiving their funds, in addition to producing and subsequently launching their line of eco-friendly plant pots, Aeroplas has been able to maximise their efficiency and save on energy costs thanks to their new equipment and have gone on to convert over 60% of their black pot sales to the new taupe material.
Now, Aeroplas has plans to expand their recyclable taupe plastic into other relevant product ranges such as container trays and paint roller trays, with the aim of supplying to supermarkets, helping to significantly reduce plastic waste in the UK.
Director Ajit Gakhal said “As a result of the new machinery we have increased productivity, reduced waste and managed to attract new business with the launch of the eco-pot range.”