New £4.2million extension for eco-packaging plant

MSP Richard Lochhead on a tour of the new Cullen Packaging factory in Glasgow

ONE OF Scotland’s oldest businesses is looking to the future with new machinery that will increase its productivity as an international market leader in its field.

Cullen Eco-Friendly Packaging Ltd, operating for over a century, is Europe’s only combined manufacturer of moulded pulp and corrugated cardboard packaging.

The company takes the offcuts from the cardboard boxes it produces for supermarkets and other worldwide customers and turns them into plastic-alternative moulded fibre products for the medical, food and drink, retail, industrial and horticultural and sectors.  Their latest innovation is a paper bottle for dry goods that replaces plastic alternatives.

Now with the help of a £475,000 grant from Scottish Enterprise, the company has been able to extend its Glasgow premises to bring in new machinery to make them even more energy efficient and sustainable, as well as creating 34 new jobs and safeguarding an existing 20. The extension will allow them to supply to every UK branch of burger chain McDonald’s.

Innovation Minister Richard Lochhead visited the site to officially open the new extension.

He said: “I was delighted to be able to visit Cullen to see how support from the Low Carbon Manufacturing Challenge Fund will allow the company to expand its operations and workforce, helping us strive towards our ambition of becoming the home of low carbon manufacturing innovation.

“I’m pleased that the investment will not only create 34 new skilled jobs, through the company’s sustainable practices, it will help us in our aim to reach net-zero by 2045 and create a wellbeing economy.”

The project marks a £4.2million total investment by Cullen at their 150,000 sq ft plant in Glasgow’s Kelvindale area, which currently employs 189 people. The project will also see them install solar panels to further improve the factory’s sustainability.

Allan Maitland, Managing Director of Cullen Eco-Friendly Packaging said: “We’re all really excited to share our factory expansion with the public.

“This additional space will mean that Cullen can manufacture and innovate eco-friendly packaging at an even higher rate, which is paramount given the world’s need for sustainable alternatives to plastic.

“This will continue to keep Cullen at the forefront of the sustainable packaging revolution and will no doubt mean that we can create even more jobs.”

Neil Francis is Managing Director for Major Projects at Scottish Enterprise. He said: “Helping innovative Scottish companies to seize the opportunities in the battle against climate change is a real area of focus for Scottish Enterprise.

“There can be few better examples of this than Cullen, who have been in operation for over 100 years and are now using their expertise to adapt to the industries of the future.”

The award was provided to Cullen from the Scottish Government’s four-year £25million Low Carbon Manufacturing Challenge Fund, launched last year.

The fund encourages ideas to speed up adoption or development of low carbon products, services, technologies or processes. It aims to reduce emissions from an industry which supports hundreds of thousands of jobs and accounts for more than half of Scotland’s exports.

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