Work is underway to expand Aquapak's manufacturing facility
UK-based plastics manufacturer, Aquapak Polymers Limited, has unveiled a major new green plastics technology that it says has the potential to transform mainstream packaging applications.
Over the last five years the Birmingham-based company has been developing a library of fully recyclable mono-material polymers said to have “outstanding functionality and performance” and that are suitable for a wide range of packaging applications including food, paints and coatings, and electronics.
Aquapak says the product range is based on a suite of patented technologies and expertise and has been rigorously tested, reportedly coming out as being superior to regular, comparable plastic film in terms of both strength and impact. The film is both tear and puncture resistant and at least twice as strong as high-density polyethylene film of equivalent gauge.
In addition, it has multiple use capabilities, excellent barrier properties, is anti-static and impervious to most solvents, oils and gas. Furthermore, the material is fully recyclable within existing waste streams, biodegradable, compostable, and water-soluble. It is also completely harmless in marine environments. Aquapak has specifically designed the pellet and process so it can work with most standard polyethylene equipment in order to minimise additional capital expenditure for blown film producers.
“We strongly believe Aquapak’s range of super polymers can replace many of the current industry standard materials at comparable cost with, often enhanced, functional performance in a number of sectors,” explained Mike Everard, the company’s Managing Director. ”Food packaging, for example, is one of the first commercial applications being tested. The material is FDA approved and capable of significantly extending the shelf life of certain foods due to its superior barrier properties.
“The film is biodegradable in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions and therefore perfect for food packaging and food waste collections as it does not need to be separated from the collection bag.”
Paint packaging is another commercial sector that the company is focusing on and Aquapak is working with a leading packaging company to develop a range of prototypes based around a durable, single layered flexible pouch with the barrier and anti-static properties required for packaging paints, coatings and adhesives. The company is now looking for paint manufacturers to provide vital input into the final stages of development.
The company is building a 52,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Birmingham, which is set to employ up to 70 people. The plant is expected to start manufacturing plastic pellets in early 2007 and has the capacity to scale up production as demand for products increases.