Irish Polymers, the Antrim-based specialist in recycling plastics,has secured first time export business in China that is expected to be worth around £400,000 over the next 12 months.
The contract for Irish Polymers, which was assisted by Invest Northern Ireland’s Trade Adviser, in Singapore, is for the supply of plastic bottles for eventual processing into garments and bedding by Chinesemanufacturers.
The bottles, recovered from civic amenity sites in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, are being supplied to abrokerage business in Hong Kong for distribution to processing and manufacturing operations inother parts of China.
The contract – the first export business secured by Irish Polymers– was announced at the start of an Invest NI trade mission by Des Mullan, thecompany’s managing director, and Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Tradedirector.
Said Mr Mullan: “This is a very important breakthrough for us in a market place with a rapidly growing demand for plastics that can be reprocessed.With the expert advice and guidance from Invest NI in Singapore we identified a broker andare now shipping four containers every week to Hong Kong.
“The deal is a major boost for our strategic focus on recyclingservices as a platform for the development of a reprocessing business in Northern Ireland.
“The visit to China will enable me to assess and learn from the techniques they use for the conversion of plastics intoother products so that Irish Polymers can process this material ourselves within Ireland. PET plastic bottles whichare used here for soft drinks are converted into products such as fleecejackets and HDPE bottles, which are used for milk and shampoo, are turned into plastic pipes and trunking,” he added.
Mr Hingston, welcoming the success of Irish Polymers in China, said:
“Irish Polymers is a good example of a small company that hasidentified a new market opportunity and has moved quickly to exploit businessthere by taking part in one of our trade missions to the region.
“As the size of this mission demonstrates, companies across ourindustrial base now recognise the importance of Hong Kong/China as a tradingpartner offering substantial opportunities across the broadest range ofbusiness activities.”
Irish Polymers was formed seven years ago and currently employs 15people in its recycling operations from its base at Enkalon Industrial Park, Antrim. The companyprovides collection services to councils and other bodies, both north and southfor plastic bottle waste that would otherwise be dumped in landfill sites.
The company will be among a 45-strong delegation of directors andsenior executives from Northern Ireland visiting Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing from 28 November to 8December to develop business links with companies here.
The delegation, the biggest-ever from Northern Ireland, is drawnfrom 34 companies representing most industrial sectors and includes companiesspecialising in power generation, environmental protection, healthcare, audiotechnology, refrigeration, dairy products, solar heating and consumer goodssuch as acrylic baths, sports socks, food and textiles.
Many of the companies are visiting China for the first time and mostare seeking to appoint representatives in the market. The delegation alsoincludes experienced export companies with substantial business in Hong Kong and China.
Invest NI organises a series of missions annually to key Asianmarkets such as China. The current mission isbeing led by Lord Diljit Rana in his role as President of the Northern IrelandChamber of Commerce and Industry.