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Business success for Chinese and Welsh eco-friendly cup firm

15 Feb 2023 3 minute read
Director Charles Gao and Steve Granville, managing director at their firm in Wrexham.

A Chinese and Welsh manufacturer of eco-friendly cups has seen business success in Wrexham after becoming the UK’s largest maker of fully recyclable plastic-free cups.

The Green Rock Group based in Wrexham employs 55 staff members and plans to create a further 50 jobs over the next year as it expands its range of catering products.

Their cups are used by Premiership football clubs, major breweries, arenas and festivals across the UK and the group are also working to produce everything from cutlery to burger boxes, pizza boxes, noodle bowls and ice cream and yoghurt pots.

Director Charles Gao said:  “It’s a very exciting time to be in Wrexham because of the newly conferred city status, allied to the Hollywood stardust sprinkled on our football club thanks to the takeover by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.”

Managing director Steve Granville will talk about the enterprise at an event being organised by Wrexham Business Professionals and will be joined by Minster for Education, Jeremy Miles MS will also take part as a guest speaker.

Steve Granville was originally an accountant but set up his own company with UK-based Chinese businessmen, Charles Gao, Alex Xu and Jay Liu, who were looking for paper cups for their chain of restaurants and Bubble Tea shops after supplies dried up as a result of the Covid pandemic.

Green Rock Group, Wrexham has become the largest suppliers of eco friendly cups in the UK – Picture Mandy Jones

Record time

Mr Granville said: “Their vision was unbelievable and they wanted to become the largest paper cup manufacturer in the UK and we have achieved that in record time because we have the capacity to make two billion plastic free cups a year and we are continuing to invest.

“We have also developed a plastic free paper lid because everyone is looking for an environmentally friendly replacement for the plastic lid. Everybody who’s seen it says it’s a game changer.

“The fact that they are manufactured here in the UK also means they have a lower carbon footprint compared to products shipped here from overseas.”

The political tide is also in Green Rock’s favour as Wales and Scotland have already legislated to ban various single-use plastics, including those described as biodegradable, with England now following suit.

Steve Granville added: “The Chinese takeaway market is huge in the UK and we want to replace all the foil and plastic containers with our products.

“We’re also targeting other sectors of the food to go market and we have just launched a new espresso cup and a range of cups for vending machines.

“The word is getting out and now we are getting calls out of the blue from people who realise they need our products.”

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