PackBenefit Secures €13 Million Venture Debt Loan from European Investment Bank for Sustainable Food Tray Production

Spain: EIB agrees venture debt financing with PackBenefit to accelerate rollout of leading sustainable food packaging technology
© PackBenefit

(IN BRIEF) PackBenefit, a company specializing in sustainable food packaging solutions, has secured a €13 million venture debt loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to increase its manufacturing capacity for recyclable and compostable food trays. The funding will be used to support the construction of a new production plant in Spain and expand the company’s technology for converting virgin pulp from certified sustainable sources into food trays. The EIB loan is part of InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators and will contribute to increased recycling and composting targets set by the EU Waste Framework and Packaging Waste Directives. The project also supports the transition to a circular economy in line with the European Commission Circular Economy Action Plan presented in March 2020.

(PRESS RELEASE) LUXEMBOURG, 23-Feb-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — The European Investment Bank (EIB), the lending arm of the European Union, announces that its has signed a €13 million venture debt loan with PackBenefit, a company specializing in sustainable food packaging solutions, to increase its manufacturing capacity for recyclable and compostable food trays. The funding will support the construction of a new production plant in Aldeamayor de San Martin, Valladolid, Spain, and the expansion of the company’s patented technology to convert virgin pulp from EU Forest Stewardship Council certified sources into food trays. With the addition of the new plant, PackBenefit will be able to manufacture an additional 180 million trays per year, amounting to about 4,500 metric tons.

The EIB venture loan is part of InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators, established under Horizon 2020, the European Union’s research and innovation program for 2014-2020. The project is funded through equity from Circularity Capital, EIB venture debt financing, and third-party loans. The EIB’s expertise, combined with support from the European Commission, has resulted in an innovative financing package for PackBenefit. The European Investment Advisory Hub, with EIB Advisory Services, identified PackBenefit as a highly innovative company in the recycling and composting sector, assisting the company in preparing the project for the EIB financing application.

The PackBenefit project supports the EU’s goals to increase recycling and composting efforts and aligns with the updated EU Waste Framework and Packaging Waste Directives. By utilizing sustainable feedstock and promoting recycling and composting, the project also supports the transition to a circular economy in line with the European Commission Circular Economy Action Plan, presented in March 2020.

Ricardo Mourinho Félix, European Investment Bank Vice-President said: “As food consumption continues to increase, the need for sustainable packaging is becoming more pressing than ever before. The EIB loan will help PackBenefit to scale-up its existing production facilities in Spain, providing recyclable and compostable food trays for customers across Europe. Financing companies such as PackBenefit contributes to a circular economy, ensuring that the value of products and materials is maintained for as long as possible, via recycling for further use.”

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, added: “In 2020, every EU resident was responsible for generating approximately 177kg of packaging waste, a figure which clearly needs to be reduced. I am particularly glad that research is, once again, successfully bringing society the solutions it needs. This project is a prime example of how the targets proposed by the Commission on the revised legislation on packaging and packaging waste are achievable. And R&I funding is here to help.”

Philippe Fèvre, Chief Executive Officer of PackBenefit, concluded: “PackBenefit’s roadmap is aligned with EU principles in relation to environmental protection, while simultaneously delivering better food safety standards for consumers and reducing resource waste. In combination with equity funding received from Circularity Capital, EIB’s financial support will allow us to more efficiently address the European market’s demand for innovative and sustainable food packaging. In addition, as a result of EIB’s support, our RDI progress will be accelerated, which will see innovations delivered earlier than expected, further expanding our range of innovative products and services in order to reduce carbon footprint in our region.”

PackBenefit is committed to providing sustainable and circular solutions that enhance resource productivity by extending the life of assets and reducing waste. The company offers a range of eco-friendly packaging products, including sustainable food trays made from virgin pulp sourced from wood-based materials. These trays provide an environmentally conscious solution for the food-packaging sector. In addition, PackBenefit also provides complementary packaging products such as lids and sustainable tray sealing film, helping to further reduce waste and support sustainability efforts.

Background information:

Under Horizon 2020, the European Union’s key research and innovation (R&I) programme for the period 2014-2020, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank Group have launched InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators, a set of financial instruments and advisory services to help innovative firms access finance more easily. Its successor for the period 2021-2027 is Horizon Europe, with a budget of €95.5 billion to help achieve a stronger European research and innovation ecosystem, notably through wider participation of researchers and innovators across Europe, as well as greater mobility and funding for world-class research infrastructures. EU financial instruments for the period 2021-2027 have been concentrated under the InvestEU umbrella, with a €26.2 billion EU budgetary guarantee to support finance and investment operations, attracting public and private financing and benefitting people and businesses across Europe.

EU R&I programmes facilitate collaboration and strengthen the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting and implementing EU policies, while at the same time tackling global challenges in the areas of climate, health and digital technologies. They support the creation and better dissemination of excellent knowledge and technologies. They create jobs, fully engage the EU’s talent pool, boost economic growth, promotes industrial competitiveness and optimises investment impact within a strengthened European Research Area. Horizon Europe, in particular, tackles climate change, helps to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and aims to boost the EU’s competitiveness and growth.

PackBenefit is a European leader in high-performance fibre-based food bio-packaging. Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Valladolid, Spain, PackBenefit is a pioneer in the design and production of recyclable, compostable and multi-award winning food trays. The company’s products, which are based on its proprietary and patented thermoforming-coating production process, provide a compelling proposition for food service clients within the commercial catering, fresh food and food-to-go end markets.

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Jose Vicente Alzola
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SOURCE: European Investment Bank


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