A GLASGOW company has revealed ambitious plans for a major expansion that will make it one of the world’s biggest fibre packaging manufacturers.
Cullen Eco-Friendly Packaging is investing £15million in a new innovation and design hub, as well as an additional factory to meet soaring global demand for its moulded fibre and corrugated cardboard alternatives to single-use plastic packaging.
The firm is set to create more than 120 new jobs at its base in Dawsholm Industrial Estate, where it already has 15 production lines making 470 million pieces per year.
The expanded manufacturing facility grows the physical site to 14 acres and means Cullen can double its output to more than one billion pieces per year.
Products range from supermarket avocado trays, coffee shop cup carriers and vital healthcare products made of moulded fibre created on site, to more intricate bespoke packaging that protects everything from fine wines to high-end electricals.
Leading global fast food chains, supermarkets, and major national healthcare services are driving a rethink in plastic packaging, and, in response, Cullen is launching its innovation design hub.
Earlier this year the Cullen team developed The Fibre Bottle, of which the company produces 270 million units per year. It enables brands producing goods such as vitamins, supplements, dry foods, homecare and horticultural products to remove 270 million single-use plastic bottles or pouches from shelves annually.
David MacDonald, Cullen Eco-Friendly Packaging’s owner, said: “It’s hugely exciting. The world’s biggest companies, across multiple industries, are looking to moulded fibre to solve many of their sustainability challenges faster than seems possible.
“To win, they need disruptive thinking -– brilliant design and inspired innovation -– but they also need those new products made at scale. That’s the really hard part but we rise to that seemingly impossible and urgent challenge.
“Indeed, the expansion further enhances our ability, enabling Cullen to deliver more than one billion compostable and recyclable products per year. That makes us almost unique, globally, at helping to solve the biggest packaging challenges we’ve ever known.
“We have customers in over 34 countries, and our exports have tripled in the last five years. Across the whole business we have grown exponentially and expect that growth to continue at pace.
“I’m glad to be able to continue to increase game-changing capacity in our Scottish home. We have talent here, an incredible workforce, so are excited to create green careers that people can be truly proud of.”
Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet, said “In our work at A Plastic Planet, we encounter many groundbreaking organisations, but rarely do they have the experience, ambition, talent and innovation of Cullen.
“They are the real deal; totally focused on the right metrics of success — people and planet before profit. Cullen is a business that has the potential to eliminate billions of pieces of toxic, indestructible plastic and sees no limit to the positive impact they can drive.
“Ideas are a start, but implementation is everything. Cullen’s ability to scale rapidly and execute a big vision is extremely unusual.”
Cullen makes 30 million square metres of corrugated cardboard packaging per year, and uses the offcuts in its on-site closed loop recycling facility to make moulded pulp, an environmentally-friendly fibre used in turn for packaging that, when finished with, can be disposed of on the compost heap.