UK based plastics manufacturer Aquapak Polymers is looking for paint companies to try out a new sustainable flexible packaging concept that is 100% recyclable and fully biodegradable.
Working with a number of the UK’s leading packaging experts, the company is in the process of developing prototypes based around a single layered flexible pouch that has barrier and anti-static properties required for packaging paints, coatings and adhesives. Aquapak is now looking for paint manufacturers to provide vital input into the final stages of development of the fully recyclable and biodegradable plastic packaging concept, strong in the belief that it can drastically reduce the amount of used paint containers and cans ending up in landfill or being incinerated.
Mike Everard, Managing Director of Aquapak explains: “Much of the progress in greening the paint and coatings sector has been in reducing the environmental impact of paint at the point of production, and on establishing infrastructure to optimise the recovery and reuse of leftover or waste paint.
“And yet the scale of packaging waste generated by the sector is huge. The British Coatings Federation estimates 78 million plastic containers and 50 million metal tins are used for decorative paint each year. With only a third of Household Waste Recycling Centres accepting waste paint, and by default containers, this results in the majority ending up in landfill sites, being incinerated or simply gathering dust in garages and sheds up and down the country.
“Through commercial trials we're aiming to demonstrate the benefits for the manufacturer, retailer and consumer of a fully recyclable, flexible plastic pouch as an effective, affordable and sustainable alternative to traditional metal tins or plastic containers.”
First and foremost manufacturers should see a reduction in costs; the flexible pouch uses less material compared with traditional packaging and addresses challenges around rising commodity pricing and dwindling natural resources. In addition the pouch is much lighter in comparison and therefore cheaper to transport: less trucks, less fuel and fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
The pouch takes up much less space than comparative pots or tins holding the same volume, so retailers will be able to display more of the product range. Additionally important for retailers is that the pouch is unique, there are no similarly packaged paint products currently on the market and therefore customer will be drawn to the point of sale display.
However, it is the pouches’ fully sustainable end of life options that Aquapak hopes will be the pivotal factor in stimulating the switch. It is 100% recyclable in existing waste streams, as well as being completely biodegradable and compatible with anaerobic digestion plants.
Mike continues: “Laboratory tests show that once all the paint is used the pouch can be recycled along with other household plastic items, and collected and sorted by the waste management company at a materials recovery facility. The valuable components of the polymer that the pouch is made from can then be recovered and reused in other products.
“Paint manufacturers have, to date, been limited in ways to reduce the environmental impact of packaging. We believe that providing packaging that offers a circular, end of life solution could be a significant step forward in improving sustainability in the paints and coatings sector.”
Paint manufacturers interested in taking part in commercial trials should contact Mike Everard in the first instance on ++44 121 451 2255 or email email@example.com.
Aquapak has been operational since 2011, successfully developing a patented technology for producing pellets that are compatible with existing polyethylene blown film production facilities to make a single layered, extremely durable plastic film suitable for a range of packaging applications. The Aquapak polymer can be fully recycled after use through existing waste streams, is completely biodegradable, water soluble and compatible with anaerobic digestion facilities.
The company is currently building a 50,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Birmingham that begins production in early 2017. The facility will employ 70 people and has the capacity to produce 30,000 tonnes of plastic pellets.
Aquapak is an approved member of the Social Stock Exchange, the first regulated exchange dedicated to businesses and investors seeking to achieve a positive social and environmental impact through their activities.
Through commercial trials we're aiming to demonstrate the benefits for the manufacturer, retailer and consumer of a fully recyclable, flexible plastic pouch as an effective, affordable and sustainable alternative to traditional metal tins or plastic containers.