A SYNDICATE of 15 female investors is helping to improve recycling rates of single-use plastic with an equity investment in Flintshire.

With the backing of Collateral Good and Knop Ventures, Deeside-based Polytag has now raised £2.85 million to help fund the growth of its unique, tag and trace barcode technology. The GS1 Digital Link QR Codes allow brand owners and retailers in the food and beverage sectors to track packaging from the time it's labelled to the moment it's scanned at recycling centres. Trials are already underway with Ocado, Co-op, Arla, Aldi and Biffa.

Read more: Deeside firm take start-up title at national small business awards

Lead investor Rachel Ashley, a director of Women Angels of Wales (WAW) leads the syndicate of 15 female angels that have also been joined by a further six male investors. Their combined investment of £100,000 was match-funded with £100,000 from the Wales Angel Co-investment Fund. Polytag also has the support of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Broughton.

Chief executive Alice Rackley said: "Our GS1-approved technology allows brand owners and retailers to see where and when their bottles are being recycled so they can track recycling habits across the UK. This is powerful data that no brand or retailer can access, allowing them to drive sustainability strategies, develop new campaigns and make recycling more rewarding for customers.

Read more: Flintshire town council elects its new Mayor

"But it doesn't stop there; these QR Codes also empower consumers with valuable product-level recycling information, supporting a sustainable circular economy. The support of our funders means we now have the capital to make further investment in our technology and our resource, helping to scale the business as we accelerate our growth while improving recycling rates and increasing circularity."

Mariana Gonzalez, principal at Collateral Good said: "We are delighted to support Alice and the Polytag team on growing the multi-tenanted platform, which combines in-house designed hardware and software relying on GS1 standards. The technology is highly scalable and can be used for unlimited industries. The valuable insight into consumption patterns, market penetration and disposal information allow brands or retailers to understand their customers and encourage sales and recycling. The label is now seen as a revenue driver."

Read more: Flintshire wedding dress shop opens for brides on a budget

Lead angel investor Rachel Ashley added: "Led by Alice, this is a team with a shared commitment to making a positive change for future generations with the development of a solution that will improve recycling rates of single-use plastic. They have achieved some impressive traction over the last year and we hope that the smart capital from our syndicate of business angels will now add further value to the business."

Carol Hall, investment manager for Angels Invest Wales, said: "With match funding from the Wales Angel Co-investment Fund, this is a syndicate of business angels who are working together to share risk and knowledge while making a real difference to Polytag. It's a win-win that benefits both the company and the investors who are bringing real value alongside Collateral Good Ventures and Knop Ventures as venture capital specialists."

• Set-up by the Development Bank of Wales in 2022, Women Angels of Wales is a business angel investment syndicate for women. Jointly supported by the Development Bank and the British Business Bank, the syndicate of 48 women can access co-investment of up to £250,000 from the £8million Angel Invest Wales Co-investment Fund.

Bethan Darwin of Darwin Thompson acted for the angel syndicate and Wales Angel Co-Investment Fund.