News in brief | Biffa acquires redistributor of surplus food and household products

Biffa has announced the acquisition of Company Shop Limited (CSL) for an upfront enterprise value of £82.5m.

CSG is the UK’s largest redistributor of surplus food and household products. It prevents waste by identifying surplus produce and then collecting, processing and redistributing it for sale through its unique network of membership-based outlets.

Surplus produce includes production overruns, trial products, or produce that has been incorrectly labelled or packaged, which without intervention would be destined to become waste.

CSG is the only commercial redistributor of scale in the UK, with unrivalled operational capabilities and infrastructure which underpin its strong growth plans.

Michael Topham, Chief Executive of Biffa plc, commented: “The acquisition of Company Shop Group strengthens Biffa’s leadership position in the UK circular economy. Its redistribution services complement Biffa’s established waste and recycling services, and supply of closed loop recycled raw materials. As the only commercial redistributor of scale in the UK, Company Shop Group is the market-leader in a growing sector, with a strong, credible growth plan which we will deliver together.

“Biffa and Company Shop Group share a common set of goals, including the continued development of profitable, sustainable waste management solutions while making a meaningful contribution to society. We welcome all of Company Shop Group’s members, partners and staff to Biffa and look forward to the next stage of the business’ development.”


Innovative packaging start-up win sustainability prize

Packaging start-up, SoluBlue, has been awarded the top prize of €500,000 from the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge, one of the world’s largest annual sustainability competitions.

The Cambridge-based start-up beat over 650 start-ups from across Europe to be crowned the latest winner and will now use the prize money to scale up its technology for pilot production among retailers.

SoluBlue revealed its potential to ‘revolutionise the way we store food’ to eliminate plastic and food waste.

Its packaging stops food from rotting by absorbing excess moisture so that packaged food gradually dries instead, meaning many everyday foods stay fresh for more than 50% longer.

Food types, including cheese and fruit, were even found to stay fresh and safe for consumption after two years in SoluBlue’s packaging.

The seaweed-based packaging is also 100% natural and non-toxic. It will completely biodegrade in a normal household compost bin within just eight-weeks, as opposed to many plastic alternatives that need commercial composting facilities.

SoluBlue’s packaging also has the same look and feel as conventional plastic, so consumers and companies can reduce their plastic use without having to compromise on the look and feel of their packaging.

Commenting on SoluBlue’s win, Ayca Dundar, Co-Founder of SoluBlue, said: “Winning Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge 2020 is an incredible achievement and honour for us. Winning the top prize is not only going to revolutionise our growth plans, but it will provide further confidence to investors that our technology is the future.

“We’ve proven that our packaging works so now is the time to show the food industry and consumers that SoluBlue can help create a cleaner and greener planet!”


Tetra Pak introduces certified recycled polymers

Tetra Pak has announced the introduction of certified recycled polymers, becoming the first company in the food and beverage packaging industry to be awarded the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) Advanced Products certification.

Its carton packages integrating attributed recycled polymers are now available for food and beverage manufacturers.

This move marks what the company calls a ‘key step in Tetra Pak’s approach to circularity’, which includes: minimising dependency on fossil-based resources; responsibly sourcing raw materials; designing packages for enhanced recycling and reduced litter; and building partnerships to develop effective collection and recycling infrastructure worldwide.

Alejandro Cabal, Vice President Packaging Solutions, Tetra Pak said: “As signatories of the Ellen MacArthur New Plastics Economy Global commitment we have pledged to incorporate a minimum of 10% recycled plastic content on average across carton packages sold in Europe by 2025, subject to suitable food-grade recycled plastics being technically and economically available.

“Having worked closely with INEOS and RSB in the past few months, we are now able to offer carton packages integrating attributed recycled polymers, further enabling the sustainability transformation of the food industry.”


Caught on camera! Public appeal to help catch ‘serial fly-tipper’

Natural Resources Wales (NRW), in conjunction with Cardiff County Council and Newport City Council, is asking people to help identify an individual suspected of multiple fly-tipping offences last year.

Camera footage captured by Liberton Investigations, NRW and the council has revealed a suspect in a Transit tipper, vehicle registration ND06 LWZ, illegally dumping household waste on land on both sides of the border in Cardiff and Newport.

The offences took place during September and October last year, in the following locations:

  • 2 September – Land next to the LG plant in Coedkernew, Newport
  • 3 September – Land next to the plant LG in Coedkernew, Newport
  • 6 September – Lamby Way Workshops, Lamby Way, Cardiff
  • 10 September – Waterside Business Park, Lamby Way, Cardiff
  • 7 October – Hendre Road, Cardiff

A joint investigation between NRW, Cardiff County Council and Newport City Council was pursued, but has been unable to identify the suspect as the vehicle involved is believed to be using false plates.

If you have any information about the individual caught on camera, we’d urge you to come forward and contact our incident hotline on 03000 65 3000.

More information about fly-tipping and householders’ duty of care can be found at

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