By Alex Kapadia
UK alternative asset manager Foresight Group is investing £4 million in the tyres recycling firm Crumb Rubber.
The company turns old truck and car tyres into fine rubber powder that can be used as a replacement for expensive virgin rubber tyre retreading and as an enhancement to a variety of plastic products, including roofing slates.
Crumb Rubber, which was founded in 2005 and has a workforce of 14 at its automated plant, has the capability of producing at least 20,000 tonnes of fine rubber powder annually.
Foresight’s investment will be used by Crumb Rubber to optimise operations at its existing plant, to step up research and development in regard to new applications of its product and to fund its own vertical integration.
Giles Whitman, Foresight’s investment manager, said: “There are a variety of tyre recycling processes vying for attention at the moment, but we believe Crumb Rubber’s is the most sustainable, and the best placed to help deal with the 500,000 tonnes of tyres that are scrapped in the UK each year.”
He added: “Rather than recovering energy or raw materials from the rubber, both of which destroy the value created in the rubber manufacturing process, Crumb Rubber’s operation retains that value, offering a more environmentally friendly treatment route.
“As an investment, this deal highlights Foresight’s continuing role in developing the infrastructure the UK needs to meet its landfill diversion and recycling targets.”