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Straight signs major UK framework agreement worth more than £8 mln

Environmental products and services group Straight PLC (AIM: STT) said it has been appointed by the Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (NASDAQ:ESPO) and the Central Buying Consortium (CBC) to supply a range of products under a three year refuse and recycling product framework agreement which is expected to generate revenue in excess of £8 million for the group.

Under the deal, Straight has been awarded joint supplier status on a range of products including steel wheeled bins, kerbside boxes and food waste caddies. The group has also been awarded sole supplier status for the provision of compost bins to ESPO's and CBC's members and end customers.

Straight said it is the only company to supply such a range of products under the agreement and the group believes that it will provide considerable opportunities for its core products whilst also benefiting local authorities through their ability to aggregate purchasing.

Straight's selection as sole supplier of compost bins under the deal is a direct result of the early termination in September 2009 of WRAP's, the government funded Waste & Resources Action Programme, scheme to supply home compost bins to local councils in England. Having supplied more than half of the compost bins used by WRAP during its six year campaign, and created the model on which WRAP's campaign was based, Straight is ideally placed to provide local authorities in England with a competitive compost bin programme, it said.

ESPO and CBC are local government purchasing and distribution consortia with a potential geographical spread from North Nottinghamshire through to Hampshire, including Bristol in the West and Norfolk in the East. This framework agreement includes an option to deliver to individual households, public sector bodies and organisations, as well as UK-registered charities based in the area.

CEO Jonathan Straight commented: “We are absolutely delighted to have such a prominent position on this framework agreement. Building on a relationship established in 2006, we are now able to offer almost our entire range through ESPO. Steel wheeled bins are now included for the first time and the range includes kerbside boxes, foodwaste caddies for indoor and outdoor use, woven kerbside bags, compostable liners made of paper and bioplastics and compost bins for bulk supply.

"In terms of the home composting campaigns we can now offer to all councils, we are looking forward to returning to the forefront of a market that we led for many years prior to WRAP's intervention," he added.

The company supplies specialist kerbside recycling containers as well as a broad range of waste and recycling container products. Founded in 1993 by Jonathan Straight, the business has since supplied more than 12 million kerbside recycling boxes to local authorities across the UK.  In 2005, Straight acquired Blackwall Ltd, the UK's largest supplier of home composters and water butts. Through the Blackwall brand, Straight has delivered more than 3.5 million compost bins and water butts.

The business operates through two divisions. The core Trade Business supplying products in bulk to local authorities, utilities, the waste industry, retailers and other businesses and the Retail Business supplying a range of proprietary environmentally friendly consumer products directly to the public, often in partnership with a local authority or a utility.

In February 2009, Straight added to its portfolio with the acquisition of Harcostar Garden Products, a brand consisting of water butts, compost bins, watering cans and accessories, thus gaining new distribution channels for the business in the UK and in Europe. It has also established overseas sales channels and is now producing and selling water butts in Australia as well as strong initial sales in the US and Canada.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company