Forming the link: a resilient supply chain for plastics manufacturing in Wales

WRAP Cymru is hosting a free event on Friday 17th November 2017, 09:30 – 13:30 at Swalec Stadium, Cardiff. The event will bring together plastics manufacturers, reprocessors and industry experts to exchange ideas, news and experiences and will provide an opportunity to hear success stories from businesses who have benefitted from incorporating recycled plastic into their manufacturing processes.

The event will be chaired by WRAP Director Peter Maddox; other speakers include Axion Director Keith Freegard, Edward Kosior (Managing Director, Nextek), and Bernard Chase (Sector Specialist, Plastics, WRAP).

Register for the event here.

Axion marks its 15th anniversary

Axion marked its 15th anniversary in October 2017 with a series of celebratory events for its 92-strong workforce across its three Manchester sites.

Since its formation in 2002, Axion has grown into a highly-respected resource recovery consulting and plastics recycling business, delivering major projects in high-interest areas of the Circular Economy from fuel cell to plastic packaging recycling.

Axion rebranded in the summer with the tagline ‘working towards a world where nothing goes to waste’ and launched a completely new website –

Armed with commemorative mugs and cupcakes, founding directors Keith Freegard and Roger Morton gave talks on the company’s progress and presented awards to a number of long-serving employees at the Bramhall, Salford and Old Trafford facilities.

Keith highlighted how new sales opportunities for their recycled polymers were opening up due to uncertainty surrounding the Brexit process that is driving local ‘Made-in-GB’ sourcing behaviour. More big brands were also specifying ‘green’ recycled raw materials in an effort to improve their environmental credentials.

He added: “Increasingly, we are seeing a Circular Economy influence on product design and material supply chains as designers and manufacturers recognise the importance of protecting and making better use of our finite resources. Changing attitudes towards waste is having a positive impact both on what we do and can deliver for our clients. The future’s bright!”

Head of Consulting Services, Jane Gardner said: “Judging by the wide range of projects we are currently working on and the number of enquiries we are now receiving, this reflects an increasing desire from companies to develop their activities along Circular Economy principles. We have the expertise in both the collection and reprocessing of a wide variety of materials to help them achieve their goals.”

Head of Finance and HR Judith Clayman said Axion is committed to staff development and will be working towards Investors in People accreditation. She added: “We have a great well-motivated team here and our emphasis is very much about our talented people. We want to support staff development and make Axion an even more fun place to work.”

Axion Polymers: ‘Success – we’d do Interplas every year!’

We declared Axion Polymers’ attendance at Interplas 2017 a ‘great success’, having collected more than 100 leads, including two firm invitations to quote from potential plastic clients, over the show’s three days.

“Interplas is a key show for us, so having put a lot of planning effort into our stand, we were very pleased to be rewarded with a high level of knowledgeable and interested visitors,” said Axion Director Keith Freegard. “We were really busy and are now following up more than 100 leads.”

He said that a ‘high point’ from the show was at least two visitors, impressed with the company’s high-quality 100% recycled polymer range, had emailed them the next day inviting quotations against specified polymers.

“In the normal selling process, it would take three months to get to that stage. So for us, the show has proved its worth. I feel confident that we’ll gain between five and 10 new orders from the number of leads we got,” continued Keith, who also spoke at the show on why product designers should ‘think circular’ and use sustainable recycled plastics in new goods.

Axion Polymers produces three types of recycled polymer from its advanced re-processing plants for Automotive Shredder Residue (ASR) derived from End of Life Vehicles (ELV) and WEEE. These are Axpoly® PP (polypropylene), ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and HIPS (high impact polystyrene).

All three recycled polymers have a significantly lower carbon footprint than oil-based virgin plastics – up to 89% for ABS, 82.5% for recycled (HIPS) and 73% for recycled (PP), according to Axion’s 2017 Axpoly® Carbon Footprint Analysis.

Speaking after the show, Axion’s Product Development Technologist Mark Keenan said: “Not only was the show a great opportunity to look for new leads and potential to grow Axion Polymers, it also enabled us to meet with much of our existing customer base, which would normally not be possible due to time constraints and busy workloads.

“Many of our customers visited our stand to talk about not just how the existing business relationship together was going, but also how it could be developed to our mutual benefit.”

Laura Smith, Commercial Operations Manager at Axion’s Salford processing facility commented: “Having received a high level of enquiries over the three days, we are confident that we should gain some new customers as a result of attending Interplas.”

Keith concluded: “Based on our 2017 experience, I’d be happy if Interplas was held every year if we got a similar quality of visitors and amount of footfall. For us, the show fills the right gap in the market and it’s in the right location.”