Gloucestershire Live Start-up Business of the Year 2022 sponsored by Randall & Payne | Winner: Kalex Films Ltd
Category: Awards

This start-up achieved sustained growth from converting our waste plastic bottles

From the outset, Kalex Films aim was to be a leading sustainable business, trusted and respected by their stakeholders for the ethics they adopt and the products they supply.

Their focus on delivering products and services whilst leaving a low carbon footprint and ensuring they conform to a circular economy/closed loop system, along with sustained growth since setting up the business, grabbed the attention of the judging panel and they became the Gloucestershire Live Start-up Business of the year 2022. We find out more about the business and what has been achieved in such a short space of time.

Kalex Films logo

Who are Kalex Films?

  • Located in the heart of the Forest of Dean, Kalex Films was established in late 2019 to manufacture and supply the highest quality recycled PET sheet to the UK/European food and medical thermoforming industries.
  • The process involves sourcing and converting millions of waste plastic bottles from around the world and giving them a new life as super-cleaned food grade extruded sheet material.
  • The investments made in their skilled team, market leading decontamination technology; and extrusion machinery has allowed them to be at the forefront of UK PET recycling processes.

Kalex’s mission statement is simply ‘Responsible. Recyclable.’

Kalex began in the middle of a global pandemic with a team of five, and they have quickly grown to ten members after moving to a 24/7 operation following the high demand for their products. With the ability to manufacture sheet using up to 100% recycled content, their products are responsible, and fully recyclable.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst lots of people were unfortunately finding themselves either being made redundant or on furlough, they are proud to have been able to create ten new roles for local people within the Forest of Dean.

Alongside supplying rigid films for the thermoformed manufacture of food-safe packaging, Kalex products were used in the manufacturing of medical trays initially supplied to support the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in late 2020/early 2021.

In 2021, Kalex won new contracts for the production and supply of innovative BDP (Break Down Plastics) raw materials, furthering the business’ core principles of being responsible, and sustainable. Investment into heat recovery technologies to reduce ongoing electricity requirements have allowed the business to be more energy efficient when manufacturing the recyclable sheet.

Kalex partnered with Prevented Ocean Plastic™ (POP), allowing them to offer customers rigid RPET sheet containing a minimum 30% high clarity POP recycled material – also fully compliant with the Plastic Packaging Tax that was implemented in April 2022. POP is high quality, certified recycled plastic that has been collected from coastal areas at risk of ocean plastic pollution. Used by brands around the world, it meets regulatory health and safety standards, is traceable back to source and can be identified on-pack through its distinctive triangular logo.

Sustained growth has led to plans for a second manufacturing line in 2023/24 which will double their manufacturing capacity. Additional recruitment will follow with the new line requiring four new fully trained team members. There are also plans for a roof mounted Solar PV installation at their HQ in the Forest of Dean.

Gloucestershire Live Business Awards 2022 Sponsored by Randall & Payne