Delivering UK Plastic Waste Market Assessments for ECP

We were very pleased with our experience working with Anthesis throughout the diligence process. From start to finish, Anthesis provided critical market expertise and exceptional work product that equipped us with the market knowledge, tools and support for the transaction.”

Tyler Kopp – Principal, ECP


US-based energy transition and decarbonisation infrastructure investor ECP, formerly Energy Capital Partners, sought a detailed understanding of the current and future UK plastic waste market.

The objective was to support ECP’s due diligence for a proposed acquisition of Biffa plc, one of the UK’s leading integrated waste and recycling companies with a leading position in plastics through Biffa Polymers.


Anthesis examined all aspects of the UK’s current and future plastic waste value chain, from arisings, collections, and sorting, through to recycling, disposal, and exports.

Anthesis assessed the potential impacts of changing regulations and market drivers, including deposit return schemes (DRS), extended producer responsibility (EPR), and the plastic packaging tax, to provide ECP with a detailed understanding of how the plastic waste industry operates in the UK and how it might change in future.

Anthesis assessed the current and potential future waste sorting and plastic recycling infrastructure in the UK and compared this against anticipated future plastic waste arisings, to establish the future UK infrastructure ‘capacity gap’ for plastic packaging recycling.

Anthesis identified leading operators in the plastic recycling industry and delivered research into the historical and projected pricing trends for plastic packaging, including insights into the push to recycle additional polymers and grades.


Anthesis’ plastic waste market assessment supported ECP’s investment decision by providing a clear understanding of the UK plastic waste value chain.

UK sorting infrastructure must produce high quality, separate polymer streams to support successful mechanical recycling in the UK, both to meet recycling targets and to avoid the need for exports. The UK’s capacity to sort, refine, and recycle plastics will therefore have to increase and evolve from that available today, requiring significant further investment.

In January 2023, ECP successfully acquired Biffa Plc. Biffa has been at the forefront of the UK’s waste management industry for over 100 years, with a commitment to enabling the development and prosperity of a circular economy, providing essential waste services to ~100,000 business customers and ~2 million households in the UK.

Biffa’s portfolio includes Biffa Polymers, which operates several advanced plastic reprocessing facilities converting ~165,000 tonnes of plastic into recycled polymer each year.

ECP’s investment provides an opportunity to further develop this treatment capacity and expand Biffa’s ability to support the circular economy for plastics.