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Dow slams failure to rescue Closed Loop plant

Closed Loop Recycling founder Chris Dow has slammed policy-makers for failing to rescue his former plastic milk bottle recycling facility, as administrators for the plant’s new owner are appointed.

Insolvency firm Cowgill Holloway Business Recovery partners Jason Elliott and Craig Johns became joint administrators of Euro Closed Loop Recycling, a company formed after the takeover of the Dagenham plant on 29 April 2015.

It is expected that the firm will now continue to disassemble and sell the facility, previously the UK’s biggest supplier of rHDPE for bottle manufacture, quashing hopes it could be saved by Government intervention.

A year ago, Dow led calls for the supply chain to support HDPE recyclers by paying a small premium on milk bottles using secondary polymers, but there was insufficient response from dairies or retailers.

Chris dow

Chris Dow

Dow (pictured), speaking to MRW from his base in Australia, said it marked the end of “one of the great industry collaborations” that had created “a giant leap” towards packaging sustainability in the UK.

“Regardless of the signed Courtauld Commitment, the partners were not able to say that environmental sustainability was more important than £0.1p on a four-pint bottle of milk,” he said.

“The plant in Dagenham, east London, was responsible for saving carbon emissions equivalent to taking 18,000 cars off the road and creating demand for the bottles that we once considered rubbish bound for a landfill.

“It was once said that a society’s values can be measured by its collective actions and, sadly, at the end of Boris Johnson’s reign as mayor, the closure of the Dagenham plant stands as a tragic testament to the lip service given to any true care for the environment.”

Closed Loop Recycling was bought by Dubai-based investment company Euro Capital in a ‘pre-pack administration’ deal 12 months ago.

The company had struggled during the previous six months due to a fall in oil prices. This meant it was selling its products for less than it cost to make them.

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