An Arlington, Wash.-based cup maker, which used recycled PET and attracted millions and millions of outside investment, has “ceased operations.”
MicroGreen Polymers Inc., only a year ago, indicated it was ramping up production of its cups from 400,000 to 2 million per day.
But now word comes that the maker of InCycle brand cups has closed its doors.
“We have ceased operation and are closed until further notice,” according to a message on the company's voice mail.
InCycle cups were made from a minimum of 50 percent recycled PET, typically used soda and water bottles. Those bottles were grinded, melted and formed into sheets and then infused with micro-bubbles. The bubbles expand the volume of material and allows for the production of four cups for every plastic bottle that is recycled.
A voice mail message left with the company on April 14 was not immediately returned.
MicroGreen, when announcing its production increase last year, said its cups were big in the airline industry where they are used for hot beverage service. The company, at the time, said it was receiving investments from two different Native America tribes to fund the expansion.
A local story from The Herald Business Journal of Everett, Wash., indicated the company had raised more than $40 million from outside investors and had more than 100 workers at one time.
The company dates back to 2002 and was co-founded by Krishna Nadella, who serves as CEO, according to MicroGreen's website. Former CEO Tom Malone served in that role from September 2006 until January, according to his Linkedin profile.
A story in Plastics News in January 2013 featured comments from company officials who saw a bright future and plenty of growth ahead for the company, which was operating just one thermoforming line at the time.
“Even if we only aim for the low-hanging fruit, we'll need 20 to 30 production lines,” one company official said at the time. The company, at that time, had 45 employees with a goal employing 200 to 300.