After a matter of months in business, Ystrad Mynach-based Transcend Packaging landed the dream-deal to manufacture paper straws for all UK and Ireland McDonald’s restaurants.
Transcend Packaging is one of only two companies that secured the contract after the fast food giant opted to replace plastic straws for paper ones in a step towards reducing environmental impact. For Transcend, this meant scaling production capacity to a target of manufacturing 3 billion straws a year – and that’s just the beginning!
We caught up with Managing Director Lorenzo Angelucci to find out more.
A true start-up success story
“Despite being a new company, we were founded by a leadership team with more than 150 years’ of combined experience in the packaging industry. Our team’s experience in supplying major high street clients helped Transcend secure the McDonald’s deal,” said Lorenzo.
“Securing the finances and getting started was challenging but exciting,” added Lorenzo. Timing was on our side and we used our knowledge about corporate businesses to form relationships with the right people early on.”
“Of course, it’s about being relevant and giving the customer what they want. We set out to create a packaging company that was different in the marketplace through our commitment to sustainability,” said Lorenzo.
Transcend received a Welsh Government grant and is expected to double in employee numbers by the end of the year.
“Since the McDonald’s deal, other large high street franchises have made contact hoping to switch to paper straws. We plan to double the quantity of straws we can manufacture by next year and create over 150 jobs in the next three years,” said Lorenzo.
Sustainability and innovation
Single-use plastic is under public scrutiny more than ever with television programmes like David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II highlighting the shocking reality of non-recycled waste.
According to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, up to 8.5 billion plastic straws are thrown away each year in the UK. They are among the top 10 items found in beach clean-ups and many appear in landfills or oceans, harming marine wildlife in the process.
“Across the packaging spectrum, the message is clear, it’s time to reduce the impact of packaging on the environment,” said Lorenzo.
Both organisations and the purchasing public have been forced to think twice about using plastic that can take hundreds of years to decompose.
“It’s great to see an increasing number of well-known businesses in the food and drink industry looking to reduce their environmental impact” said Lorenzo, “we work with companies to help design and implement sustainable packaging – it’s the innovation combined with our commitment to environmentally friendly products that makes us different.”
More than straws
Transcend Packaging has developed a complete line of compostable paper straws to suit all requirements. But that’s not all – the innovative team at Transcend create bespoke and high-quality folding cartons in all shapes and sizes too.
“We pride ourselves on delivering custom packaging solutions with no sacrifice when it comes to quality” said Lorenzo. “We have the first digital press of its kind in the UK which provides innovative packaging options for our customers and use the best bio-resin in the industry.”
“With Brexit in mind, more companies are sourcing locally manufactured packaging. It’s reassuring for business-owners to know their suppliers are close by and can deliver the highest standards.”
Looking to the future
It certainly looks like it’s only the beginning for Transcend.
“We are already in discussion with businesses across Europe who are looking for environmentally friendly packaging which is very exciting” said Lorenzo. “We are considering expanding to France, Italy and North America in the near future.”
Born in Italy, Lorenzo was Managing Director for Seda UK and Seda North America before relocating back to South Wales to form Transcend Packaging with an experienced management team from across the packaging industry. When we asked Lorenzo about the choice to move back and start a business he said: “my family just loves Newport!”
“As our business grows and evolves, it is vital that we take care of it. Thomas Carroll give us peace of mind that our assets and reputation are in safe hands – that is very important.”
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