Transcend Packaging and Zume have announced a partnership for enhancing moulded fibre production capacity with a new facility in Europe planned for 2023, which will initially distribute moulded fibre snap lids for hot beverage cups.

UK-based packaging company, Transcend Packaging, has entered a multi-million-pound strategic partnership with Zume that the companies say will focus on creating viable, scalable, and cost-effective packaging solutions for moulded fibre.

As part of the deal, the companies are planning to establish what they claim will be one of the largest specialist moulded fibre production facilities in Europe. Site assessments regarding the exact location of the facility are apparently underway, with the aim of being fully functional by mid-2023.

According to the companies, the facility will initially launch to market with moulded fibre snap lids for hot beverage cups. The companies add that the goal is to initially create 500 million units of capacity by September 2023, offering global food and beverage companies an readily available formed fibre solution.

Transcend Packaging and Zume claim that, by localising the facility in Europe, they can offer quick and customised production of formed fibre packaging without compromising on performance or price. As part of the partnership, Transcend Packaging will also be the exclusive distributor of Zume’s moulded fibre lids in Europe.

Zume explains that its process uses biomass derived from agricultural waste and converts the natural plant fibres into advanced moulded fibre products, which can provide an alternative to single-use virgin plastics. The company says its moulded fibre snap lids are functional, leakproof, and compostable, as well as being 100% PFAS-free as part of its partnership with Solenis, a global producer of speciality chemicals.

The new production facility will add to Zume’s growing network of factories, with facilities already established in North America and India, and with more in planning stages in Latin America and Canada. Zume says that its partnerships with ABB Robotics will enable it to create moulded fibre products using state-of-the-art manufacturing cells and robotic machinery at its global facilities.

Lorenzo Angelucci, CEO of Transcend Packaging, comments: “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, adds: “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.”