With great sadness Casepak has announced that its Chairman, founder and inspiration, George Smith, passed away on 23rd September at home in Leicester.
Born George Albert Edward Smith in 1936 in Leicester, George was one of life’s true entrepreneurs. On leaving the navy aged 19, he worked in a local grocery store and then, in the early 1960s, on realising there was no bingo hall in Leicester he acquired the Corn Exchange and drew in the crowds providing bingo to the people. He soon gained the moniker Bingo George, which stayed with him for the rest of his life.
Moving on from bingo George joined Vinaflex in Leicester initially on the Shop Floor making soles for shoes, quickly becoming Manager. Vinaflex used a lot of very expensive cartons, and in a bid to reduce costs George started buying second-hand cartons. After speaking to other companies he realised he had found a niche in the market and in 1972 he launched his own second-hand carton business, employing seven people and called Casepak.
As business grew George identified another niche by selling his unusable cartons for recycling. He quickly realised that recycling was the way forward and he expanded his business by winning contracts across the Midlands with box makers, printers and news houses.
The business proved a huge success and in 1997 Casepak moved to a purpose-built site in Enderby, processing 144,000 tonnes of recycled material every year. Keeping ahead of developments as always, George saw that the increasing demand for total waste management, coupled with Government legislation to reduce the amount of material going to landfill and the company embarked on a new, £21 million venture to design, develop and construct a 150,000 tonnes per annum MRF (Materials Recycling Facility). The MRF was officially opened in 2012 by the Recycling Minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach by presenting a commemorative plaque to George.
A great family man, George grew Casepak with support from his eight children, all of whom still work in the business. From the original workforce of seven, Casepak now employs over 200 people and was named Leicestershire Business of the Year in 2012.
George’s Funeral is being held at 2.45pm on Friday 4th October at Leicester Cathedral (St Martin’s), and afterwards at The Keith Weller Suite at Leicester City Football Club.
The family has requested that should anyone wish to make a donation in memory of George, contributions should be sent to the Alzheimer’s Society.