London and Ystrad Mynach, 19 April 2023: UK-based sustainable packaging leader, Transcend
Packaging, is strategically joining forces with ITOCHU Corporation, one of Japan’s largest companies
and a leading global provider of pulp and paper products.
ITOCHU and Transcend have reached an investment agreement and strategic partnership to deliver a
broad range of paper and fibre-based sustainable packaging products to markets across the UK,
Europe and beyond. ITOCHU is one of the largest Japanese sōgō shōsha (diversified industrials) and
was ranked 78th on the 2022 list of Fortune Global 500 companies, with an annual trading revenue of
US $100 billion.
• The partnership will align capabilities between the UK-based sustainable packaging leader and
ITOCHU Corporation’s global reach and leading European fibre business.
• ITOCHU is a Fortune Global 500 company headquartered in Japan with revenues over $100
As part of the deal, ITOCHU has invested $10 million and will join forces to drive innovation in
sustainable packaging, unlocking new product categories for paper and moulded fibre evolution on a
global basis. This investment launches a phase of strategic expansion for Transcend as it looks to
extend its reach into new markets from Asia to North America with plans to secure additional
investment to support this effort. Together, Transcend and ITOCHU have the ambition to save billions
of pieces of single-use plastic from landfill annually, aiming to make an impact globally as brands move
to enhance how their packaging performs at the end of its useful life. The partnership is also a
significant milestone as ITOCHU increases its focus on the eco-friendly, wood-fibre-based material
business to accelerate the development of a more sustainable society.
ITOCHU’s fibre division, ITOCHU Fibre Limited, has the best-in-class expertise in the trading and
distribution of pulp and paper products in Europe and has a strategic investment in Metsa Fibre in
Finland. Through this investment, together with other projects, ITOCHU Fibre is well positioned to
deliver significant volumes of both softwood and hardwood pulp, having secured its position as a
leading pulp trader and providing top-end quality as well as volume.
The strategic partnership with ITOCHU will dramatically enhance Transcend’s capabilities with its
existing products and is a key component in the implementation of its previously announced strategy
to develop one of the largest moulded fibre production facilities in Europe. Strengthened through this
partnership, Transcend is committed to producing moulded fibre packaging that can be made without
compromising on performance or price while at the same time offering speed and customisation that
is truly category leading. Under the partnership, Transcend Packaging and ITOCHU Corporation will be
able to further unlock the potential of ITOCHU’s global business reach to collaboratively work to drive
innovation in sustainable packaging.
With the closing of ITOCHU’s cornerstone investment, Transcend looks forward to completing its
capitalisation plan which will allow it to accelerate its pursuit of the market opportunity presented by
the shift to fibre and paper products from plastic. The company has developed a strategy to build its
geographic presence through existing partnerships and strategic investment globally.
Tighter legislation on single-use plastic
As brands look to align their packaging portfolios with emerging legislative and regulatory trends,
including the Single-use Plastics Directive, Extended Producer Responsibility and revisions to the EU’s
Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation, there is an industry-wide focus on innovation in
sustainable single-use packaging that can be widely recycled. Founded in 2017, Transcend Packaging
(whose extensive client list includes McDonald’s, Starbucks, Ferrero and many other leading brands)
uses state of the art paper and fibre-based solutions combined with innovative barrier coatings to
create fully recyclable paper and fibre-based alternatives to plastic packaging. Key products in this
portfolio include paper straws, cups, lids and other packaging for the food service and shelf-life
Moulded fibre holds the key
Moulded fibre is the natural alternative to plastic in multiple applications and is well positioned to
meet both brand preferences and emerging legislative and regulatory requirements. Set to
significantly impact the packaging space as brands look to reduce the overall amount of plastic in their
portfolios, the collaboration between Transcend and ITOCHU will allow the business to become a
major innovator in this category.
Transcend Packaging was founded to deliver on the promise of bringing enhanced sustainability and
innovation to the packaging space and is closely aligned with ITOCHU’s corporate focus on delivering
the realisation of a decarbonised society, sustainable local communities, and a reduced impact on the
In addition to supplying paper and pulp materials, ITOCHU will play a crucial role as a strategic partner
in supply chain management for Transcend Packaging as part of this capital business alliance. The
company also aims to expand its environmentally friendly packaging business in Japan through its
collaboration with Transcend Packaging.
Lorenzo Angelucci, CEO of Transcend Packaging, said:
“Sustainable innovation and an evolving regulatory landscape are continuing to shift priorities in
packaging, and we are working with a wide range of leading brands to enhance the sustainability of
their packaging portfolios. ITOCHU is one of the largest and most successful companies in the world
and an industry leader in the paper and pulp market, so their support will be instrumental in enabling
us to continue delivering innovative solutions to our customers. We see moulded fibre as the leading
alternative to single-use plastic in a broad range of applications, both to replicate required
performance objectives and achieve the potential to be recycled at scale. Our partnership with
ITOCHU will allow us to progress from strength to strength as we look to accelerate the pace of
sustainable innovation we can provide the market.”
Jin Asada, Group Director of ITOCHU Europe Plc, said:
“ITOCHU is pleased to announce our strategic investment and partnership with Transcend Packaging.
As one of Japan’s largest companies, we are committed to supporting the global shift towards
sustainability and the realisation of a decarbonised society. Our investment will help Transcend
Packaging expand its reach into new markets and develop one of the largest moulded fibre production
facilities in Europe. Together, we aim to save billions of pieces of single-use plastic from landfills
annually, while unlocking new product categories for paper and fibre-based sustainable packaging
products. We are excited to collaborate with Transcend Packaging to drive innovation in sustainable
packaging, utilising our expertise in the trading and distribution of pulp and paper products in Europe,
and our strategic investment in Metsa Fibre in Finland. With our global business reach, we are
confident that our partnership will make a significant impact in the packaging industry and contribute
to a more sustainable future.”