Firm celebrates new funding injection and kicks off trials of its reusable packaging service with Budweiser Brewing Group, Diageo, Biffa, Greene King, and Arsenal Emirates Stadium
Renewable packaging firm Again has secured £2.55m to fund its expansion as the company confirmed it is to launch a series of new pilot projects in London with leading brands such as Budweiser Brewing Group, Diageo, Biffa, Greene King, and Arsenal Emirates Stadium.
The investment in the firm has been led by Eka Ventures and backed by Maersk Growth and will be used to launch more sites across the UK and develop the company’s proprietary CleanCell system, which cleans packaging so that it can be safely refilled and reuse.
The London-based clean-tech start-up says it is now creating the supply chain infrastructure for its reusable packaging using the latest robotics and software technologies.
A growing number of consumer-facing venues, such as coffee chains, sports stadiums, and pubs, have explored how to switch from single use plastic glasses and other forms of packaging in recent years. However, the upfront cost of reusable packaging and logistical challenges cleaning used packaging has proven a barrier to widespread adoption of such schemes.
But again said it plans to shift billions of units of fast moving consumer goods packaging into the circular economy by building a decentralised network of automated, micro cleaning facilities, called CleanCells, which can tackle logistical challenges and drive down the cost of reusable packaging systems.
Matt Kennedy, founder and CEO of Again, said: “Reusable packaging is the future but today it’s prohibitively expensive for brands. We’re in the early stages of building a circular economy and we see our role being the infrastructure that underpins the packaging aspect of this on a mass scale.”
He added that the company already had a number of key partners on board to help advance its plans. “This can only be done with buy-in from across the value chain and we’re excited to be working in partnership with renowned brands, like Budweiser Brewing Group and Diageo, alongside waste management companies, like Biffa and SWRnewstar, to deliver a reusable packaging solution that can enable the shift of billions of units of packaging to reuse in an economically viable way,” he said.
Jon Coker from Eka Ventures said the investor had been particularly impressed by the scalability of the model Again has set out. “Again’s focus on using the existing logistical infrastructure and using technology and data to make reusable packaging as simple and affordable as single-use is exactly the kind of company we look to back at Eka,” he said.
Oliver Finch, investment partner from Maersk Growth added: “[Again’s] decentralised approach and technology shows real promise to make circular packaging lower carbon and more cost effective than ever.”