An expanding Cheshire chemical company unveiled plans to invest in new eco-friendly packaging and forecast new jobs for young people as it celebrated 50 years in business and a record year in 2020.
Plans for Repclif Chemical Services include new contract filling and packing plant using 100 per cent Post Consumer Recycled (PCR) plastic tubes and recycled labels were unveiled by Managing Director, Ivan Anketell-Clifford as the Macon Way, Crewe, based business celebrated its half century.
Ivan said the move towards sustainable packaging was vital and in line with the government’s Plastics Pact, designed to reduce the country’s reliance on virgin plastic packaging, adding: “If we can then encourage customers to convert to some of our green chemistry based products, we have the perfect solution to the future of cleaning.”
Each eco-friendly tube will contain the equivalent of three recovered plastic shopping bags.
Ivan also pledged to invest in youth. Recent actions including taking two young people off production line work and giving them apprenticeships in business administration and digital marketing. The company has also partnered with Safe Opportunities, a Crewe based company dedicated to working with and preparing as many young people as possible for employment, apprenticeships and positive outcomes.
Already one young person has been given a role at Repclif after completing a three-month work placement.
Ivan added: “Our growth plans will lead to additional local jobs later in the year and we hope to continue to attract young talented individuals who, with the correct guidance, support and encouragement, will be a great asset and enjoy joining our growth journey.”
Repclif Chemical Services Ltd was launched from a small unit in High Street, Sandbach, by chemical engineer Bob Frazer and industrial chemist Doug Holt on July 20, 1971, together with their wives, Sue and Helen.
Doug and Helen have now passed away, but Bob and Sue joined the celebrations at the Macon Way headquarters and were presented with gifts including a new rose plant, named the Repclif Rose.
The celebration was also attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Crewe, Councillor Tom and Adrienne Dunlop and Dr Kieran Mullen, MP for Crewe and Nantwich.
Last year, the ownership of the company was passed over to Ivan, Bob and Sue’s son-in-law and their daughter Rachael, Ivan’s wife.
Repclif, now more often recognised by their parent brand, Qualkem, enjoyed a record year in 2020 and its hygiene products helped many businesses to safely get through the pandemic.
Having previously worked with the Wellcome Foundation, Doug and Bob struck out alone as they recognised a demand for short-run chemical products.
Their first customer was Portaloo with Repclif supplying toilet additives under the Destrol brand. Within 18 months, the company had taken a lease on a business unit which allowed them to blend products and fulfil orders from one place, and expand their product range.
In 1980, land off Macon Way, Crewe, was acquired and the company was able to build its own headquarters.
Qualkem Brands has a comprehensive range of products for markets including camping and caravanning, portable toilets, the boating/marine community, brass instruments and supplying market leading healthcare products into the dental and veterinary sectors.
2020 saw success with the revolutionary Electrosan Skin and Surface Anti-viral Spray which helped in the fight against Covid-19.
Added Ivan: “We celebrated a record year amid one of the most challenging trading periods for the country. The team spirit, commitment and loyalty of our staff was second to none. At one point we had a third of staff self-isolating or down with Covid but we did not miss one day’s production throughout the year. Even Bob and Sue were labelling Electrosan bottles in their kitchen – just like the good old days when they started out 50 years ago.”