The administrators of the failed Welsh recycling company Plastic Sorting Ltd (PSL) this week said they were hopeful of securing a buyer for the business.
Begbies Traynor had “a substantial” response after imposing a deadline of 6 February for expressions of interest.
The announcement came as campaigners warned that the recycling firm’s administration showed the importance of separate plastics collections.
Begbies Traynor partner David Hill said: “Thanks to extensive coverage in the regional and trade media, we have had strong interest in PSL and we are now in the process of sifting through the expressions of interest and arranging site visits and meetings with interested parties to determine the best outcome for the business.
“We are hopeful that at least one firm bidder will emerge so that we can achieve a lasting result and save what we can of the business.”
PSL, based at Blackwood Business Park, Pontllanfraith, near Caerphilly, went into administration on 1 February. Three staff have been retained to advise Begbies Traynor with 27 others losing their jobs.
PSL, which runs the largest capacity polyethylene terephthalate (PET) reprocessing plant in the UK, had an annual turnover of £1.2m. It buys in empty plastic drinks bottles and sorts, washes and chips them for resale to the plastics industry.
When it was launched, PSL was billed as a “strategic investment in the plastic supply chain for Wales, the West Midlands and the West of England”.
The company involves social enterprise and the private sector, with the support of the Welsh Assembly Government and the Charity Bank.
The Campaign for Real Recycling said PSL had been damaged by a lack of material quality.
CRR coordinator Andy Moore said: “The upshot is that poor quality, multi-polymer plastic is collected into a limited domestic market and is typically exported to the Far East, which is of less benefit to the UK economy and job creation.
“This is yet another reason why we are maintaining our vigilance as the government re-transposes the revised EU Waste Framework Directive.
“We hope that Defra will recognise the importance of supporting the separate collection of dry recyclables, including separate plastics, as this situation illustrates how UK jobs can be affected.”
Jonathan Short, managing director of rival reprocessor Eco-Plastics, said the industry “should sit up and take note” of the consequences of the “deteriorating quality” of feedstock material.
Short said PSL could not cope with the problem of poor quality recyclables, which he said was the major issue confronting the industry.
He said he “would not be surprised” if other repreocessors facing the same problems as PSL were to go the same way.
“You cannot as a business keep chasing the tail of quality. We’ve invested £30m here; now I’m not going to invest another £5m next year just because the supply’s no good.
“There have got to be changes to legislation that will help with quality. The rush for quantity is over. That’s a fundamental change that needs to happen in the industry.”