A Middlesbrough glass firm has entered new export markets after it secured agreements to supply its recycled glass products into Australia and Estonia.
WRL Glass Media, part of Ward Recycling is experiencing increased demand for its products, which are used for a range of applications including shot blasting and water filtration.
Exports now account for more than 30 percent of its business.
As a result of these latest agreements, a WRL Glass Media product is now being exported into Estonia for a company called Propritis for use in building restoration.
The company was looking for a reliable glass abrasive, for shot blasting building exteriors, as an alternative to less environmentally-friendly grit or plastic products.
Propritis made contact with WRL Glass Media and, after undertaking sample testing, has placed its first order with the Teesside-based company.
WRL Glass Media’s more refined process glass is, also for the first time, being used as a filtration media in swimming pools across Australia after the company struck an agreement with a distributor based in Queensland.
Used as cost-effective and cleaner replacement to silica sand, the product is shipped from North East England into Sydney Harbour before being distributed to customers across the country.
WRL Glass Media now exports into markets including Spain, Greece, France, Iceland and Cyprus, which has supported the company’s strong growth in the UK market in recent months.
Earlier this year it recorded an increase in sales of 81 percent for its glass media products, which was made possible by its investment in its facilities in South Bank, Middlesbrough.
Its 32,000 sq. ft. Glass Beneficiation Plant, located adjacent to Ward Recycling’s main household recycling facility, is part of a £3.2million investment that was supported by a £500,000 grant from Let’s Grow – a £30m Regional Growth Fund programme operated in partnership with Trinity Mirror Group, BE Group and UNW LLP.
To meet demand, the company has subsequently built an additional 5,000 sq. ft. £450,000 glass clean up extension, which opened in the spring.
Gareth Godwin, Manager at WRL Glass Media, said: “We are very proud that the investments we have made in our facilities have enabled the company to support increased export activity alongside our growing operations in the UK.
“The addition of international sales markets strengthens our business and further reinforces the efficacy of our glass media as it is increasingly attracting interest from countries around the world where customers see the environmental and cost benefits of our products.
“We are particularly excited about the new agreement with the Australian distributor. The country’s swimming pool industry is worth in the region of £300m and we believe the quality and effectiveness of our water filtration glass media has the potential to have a positive impact on the market.”