Aquapak Polymers Ltd

Aquapak Polymers Ltd (“Aquapak”) has developed a ground-breaking specially formulated polymer for use in thin film packaging, which offers greater functionality than many regular plastics in terms of strength and durability, but is recyclable in an energy efficient way, and has excellent ecological credentials in end-of-life processing. In fact it is  biodegradable in all modern industrial forms of waste disposal, and once in the environment, is harmless to humans and to fish. Aquapak can therefore make a strong and immediate contribution to changing the way plastics are used in certain global sectors such as food waste, hospital hygiene, electronics, clothing and food packaging, as well as in multiple niche applications.

Plastics and plastic packaging have an integral place in the global economy, with enormous resource and energy benefits attributable to its use, both from prolonging the shelf-life of foods, and the energy savings from transporting this light-weight resource. Its use is proliferating. Plastic packaging is almost exclusively ‘single-use’. As a result, the after-use and end-of-life issues are becoming more apparent each day, with only about 5% of the value of plastic packaging material being retained within the economy. A mere 14% of plastic packaging is collected for recycling and, when recycled, tends to be re-formed into lower value applications that are not themselves recyclable after use. The increased focus tends to be on either improved product functionality or end of life, in a linear fashion, but not on the whole supply chain.

Improvements in product functionality have tended to lead to increased problems at end-of-life, with much product ending up in landfill to degrade over centuries. Aquapak has focused on a more ‘circular’ approach to product lifecycle by developing a library of mono-material polymers which show outstanding functionality in flexible packaging across a wide range of applications, whether the focus is on durability and multiple use, the easy and completely harmless bioassimilation characteristics of the polymer in land or marine environments, or a combination of the two. Importantly though, there are economically and technically viable routes to recycling and all modern methods of recovery, mechanical recycling, chemical recycling, composting, and anaerobic digestion.

Aquapak Polymers Ltd Impact Report