A new packaging plastic polymer is considered the first stepping stone for a plastic circular economy
Packaging experts Aquapak Polymers has unveiled the development of a groundbreaking new plastic packaging polymer which is 100% biodegradable and can be recycled without undergoing a preprocessing stage at waste management facilities.
The new polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) polymer is a significant innovation in a world struggling to cope with the vast amounts of unrecyclable plastic packaging which is circulating around the globe, most of which finds its way into landfill sites and incinerators.
Aquapak says its new plastic polymer can be used to replace the unrecylcable plastic films on crisp packets, confectionary wrappers, pouches, meat packaging and even bread bags and the clear windows found on some envelopes.
Not only is the new packaging polymer more environmentally friendly, it will also keep food fresher for longer, as it is made from oil and solvent and acts as an oxygen barrier.
Those involved in the recycling and waste industry believe the new innovation is the first step to achieving a circular economy within the plastic industry.
However, the FDA-approved polymer is in the demonstration development stage and further work is required to get it into circulation. Aquapak is building a new manufacturing facility in Birmingham for the production of the revolutionary polymer. The plant is due to be ready by 2017.
The PVOH polymer has been tested by a leading waste management firm in an anaerobic digestion (AD) process and has been confirmed as fully degradable. Furthermore, if the plastic polymer finds its way into the environment, it poses no risk to marine life or wildlife, as it is biodegradable and will dissolve in water.
Mike Everard, of Aquapak Polymers, commented: “We are currently in talks with a number of key market sectors. It’s an exciting time for Aquapak as we demonstrate to manufacturers and brand owners that they can now have a strong monolayer plastic that performs well, looks great, and is environmentally sustainable.”
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