Metal recycler forges links with China

A SUFFOLK-based metal recycler forged new links with China as it hosted a ground-breaking tour for industry delegates. Sackers Recycling at Great Blakenham, near Ipswich, welcomed the first visit to the UK by a trade delegation of 24 Chinese metal recyclers, as part of a drive to build better trading links between the UK and China.

A SUFFOLK-based metal recycler forged new links with China as it hosted a ground-breaking tour for industry delegates.

Sackers Recycling at Great Blakenham, near Ipswich, welcomed the first visit to the UK by a trade delegation of 24 Chinese metal recyclers, as part of a drive to build better trading links between the UK and China.

The group toured the firm's new multi-million pound metal shredding plant, which began operation in January this year following three years of preparation.

The firm previously sent metal items on for further recycling processes, but with the opening of the new plant has cut out the “middle man” and is now able to convert them into a foundry-ready product.


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The delegation, from the Chinese Metal Recycling Association took part in a discussion session and lunch with representatives from Sackers, which sorts and segregates waste from industrial and commercial businesses including plastic, paper and cardboard, and the British Metals Recycling Association.

Sackers, which employs around 54 staff, has already been making inroads into the overseas market, particularly the Far East, following the opening of the new metal recycling plant. Joint managing director David Dodds returned two weeks ago from a visit to China, where large-scale projects are still forging ahead in spite of the worldwide credit crunch.

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“It now gives us opportunities and has opened us up into markets which we previously could not supply,” he said.

“It shreds steel, aluminium, copper, all matter of metals into a very small handle-able sized chunk they can literally put straight in the furnace.”

They were targeting the Far East with their product, and were “very proud” to be the first to welcome such a delegation from China, he said.

“The Far East and the sub-continent certainly are major consumers of the product so that's the reason I have been going out to the Far East,” he said.

“The main point to achieve today is to strengthen relationships, find out exactly what their requirements are, what their expectations are and really saying now here we are, we are an international company trading on the international front.

He believes the proximity of the firm's site to Felixstowe put it in a strong position to pick up overseas contracts.

“It's gone very well. We export every single month,” he said.

“It's cementing long-term relationships so when the market really does pick up - it's still reasonably buoyant at the moment - but Sackers will be a large part of the market.”

At the moment, they were exporting 5,000 to 6,000 tonnes a month to the Far East, and have the capacity to increase that to 7,500 tonnes. The business was good for the local economy, he said.

“There's definitely a local knock-on effect because of the employment. We are using the local port, using local hauliers, our carbon footprint is very, very small because we are going from Ipswich to Felixstowe. For local businesses, it's definitely a plus point for sure,” he said.

“This is the first time the industry has been over to the UK. We are very proud of that fact.”

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