FDBusiness.com

Aquapak Helps Food Manufacturers (Dis)-Solve Plastic Packaging Waste

 Breaking News
  • Arla Foods UK Launches New Standards Model to Bring Sustainable Change to Dairy Farming With ongoing volatility in the global milk markets, increasing consumer misunderstanding of the sector, polarised levels of support for UK dairy farmers and a new post-Brexit Agriculture Bill the challenges for dairy farmers are mounting. Farmer-owned co-operative Arla Foods has launched ‘Arla UK 360’ – a new standard in UK dairy farming. The Arla UK 360 [...]...
  • €172 Million to Promote EU Agri-food Products In and Outside the EU The European Commission will provide funding of €172.5 million from the EU agricultural budget to promote EU agri-food products in Europe and across the world. 79 campaigns, covering a wide range of products such as dairy products, olives and olive oil, and fruit and vegetables, will be rolled out over the next three years. Agriculture and [...]...
  • €40 Million VistaMilk SFI Research Centre Launched in Ireland The Irish Government has launched the new VistaMilk SFI Research Centre which is jointly funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The VistaMilk Centre will be hosted by Teagasc Moorepark, in partnership with a number of research performing organisations. Multinational and SME companies in the food and ICT [...]...
  • Autumn Chill Puts Sunday Lunch Back on the Menu For UK Shoppers UK shoppers have returned to seasonal favourites as supermarket spending cools off, according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel, for the 12 weeks to 7 October 2018. Overall sales grew 3.2% compared to the same 12 weeks last year. Though this is a slight slowdown from the highs reached during 2018’s hot summer, sales [...]...
  • Müller Milk & Ingredients Completes Integration and Appoints CFO Brian Watson has been appointed as Chief Finance Officer at Müller Milk & Ingredients (MMI). He joins the business from Marmon, a $7.7 billion Berkshire Hathaway company operating in the supermarket and food service sector. The appointment comes as MMI confirms completion of the biggest integration the UK dairy industry has ever seen – merging [...]...

Aquapak Helps Food Manufacturers (Dis)-Solve Plastic Packaging Waste

Aquapak Helps Food Manufacturers (Dis)-Solve Plastic Packaging Waste
April 18
13:10 2017

Sustainable plastics manufacturer Aquapak Polymers Limited is helping food manufacturers (dis)-solve the issue of how to reduce its plastic packaging waste. Last year in the UK only a third of plastic packaging was recycled, with the remaining two thirds being buried in landfill sites or burnt in incinerators.

Although the recycling rate for plastic bottles is comparatively high (60%), packaging for yoghurt pots, margarine tubs and ready meal containers is considerably lower (30%).

Packaging made with plastic film is the largest cause for concern – bread bags, pasta and rice packets, sandwich boxes and film on ready meal containers. Only 3% of this type of packaging was believed to be recycled in 2015.

“Part of the problem is consumers aren’t sure which types of plastic packaging can be recycled which is further compounded by disparity in local authority waste collection services,” explains Mike Everard, Managing Director of Aquapak Polymers.

“And yet the flexible packaging market is booming as manufacturers increasingly switch from rigid packaging to lightweight, less resource intensive alternatives. With only 20% of local authorities in the UK having provision to collect and recycle plastic film, it isn’t necessarily the most sustainable choice available for food producers and manufacturers – until now.

“Aquapak’s material does everything conventional plastic packaging film does in terms of functionality and performance, however it’s fully recyclable, biodegradable and non-toxic if it does end up in the water – where it will eventually dissolve.”

Increased extended producer responsibility combined with new targets for packaging recycling (75% – 80% by 2030) means that pressure is mounting on manufacturers to find packaging materials that are sustainable.

Although Aquapak is looking at a number of commercial applications for its flexible plastic, it is particularly well-suited for food packaging since it’s FDA approved and acts as an oil, solvent and air barrier, keeping dried or fresh food products fresher for longer. The material can be produced in a range of weights and thicknesses, can be clear or coloured and printed directly on without Corona treatment making it an ideal packaging solution for the food industry.

Aquapak’s material is a formulated Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVOH) and is already well used for laundry detergent pouches that dissolve in the machine during the wash cycle. The company has spent the last seven years refining and modifying the PVOH production process to retain its solubility while radically improving its strength and functionality.

Once packaging made from Aquapak’s material has been used it can be disposed of along with other recyclable household waste where it can either be recycled or processed through anaerobic digestion or via composting. It also doesn’t need to be de-packaged prior to processing which is another significant advantage.

Mike continues: “Environmental impact and sustainability is now firmly at the front of consumers’ minds when it comes to buying products and their packaging. The most important consideration for food manufacturers is that the packaging must be exceptionally functional, providing the necessary barrier properties to maintain and increase the lifespan of their products.

“With a lot of the materials available today, in particular bio-plastics, manufacturers have to make trade-offs in relation to how strong the packaging material is or how much it costs.  For example, some biodegradable packaging just doesn’t offer the same functional performance of conventional materials, despite being environmentally better.”

There’s already a great deal of interest from the food and retail sectors in Aquapak’s material and a number of trials are currently taking place with leading food producers and manufacturers including a well known bakery chain and dairy company.

Aquapak believes its material has the potential to significantly drive up recycling rates for plastic packaging. Using a closed loop system the polymer can be recovered via a simple chemical process so it can be re-pelletised and reused. The resin has also been designed to work in standard polyethylene machines so production can be scaled up quickly as demand for the material increases.

Mike concludes: “When developing our material and process we’ve tried to look at creating a super material that provides food manufacturers with the full package; functionality and a choice of options when it comes to the end of its useful life.”

About Author

mike

mike

Related Articles



Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition 2016

Upcoming Events

  • October 18, 2018Future Food-Tech London - Marketing Partnership
  • October 21, 2018Int'l Food Products Exhibition (Sial)
  • October 25, 2018Italian Espresso Coffee Show (TriestEspresso Expo)
  • October 25, 2018Finnish Food Fair
AEC v1.0.4

Jobs: Food Packaging

find food jobs

The Magazine

F&D Business Preferred Suppliers

New Subscriber





Subscribe Here



Advertisements