Aquapak Polymers, a sustainable plastics manufacturer, is relocating from Kings Norton to new 50,000 sq ft production base at Hollymoor Point, Rubery. Mike Everard, managing director of Aquapak Polymers, said, “This is a world-class facility that will see the creation of new jobs for Birmingham, as well as supporting the regeneration of the area and the wider goals for the Midlands region. (Below, under construction)
By the end of March it will have the capacity to expand production to 30,000 tonnes of plastic pellets with flexibility to further increase production as demand grows. The recent ‘new plastics economy’ report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation revealed the alarming statistic that, by 2050, there will be more plastics than fish in the world’s oceans by weight. That report called for “moon shot” innovations to make plastic packaging more closed-loop compatible.
Social Stock Exchange, which is dedicated to businesses and investors with a positive social and environmental impact, explains that Aquapak has developed a multi-purpose polymer for packaging which is 100% recyclable and 100% biodegradable (water soluble). It promises to revolutionise the world of plastic packaging and help to stop polluting the world’s oceans. The aim is eventually to switch, where possible, to a non-fossil (and therefore more sustainable) bio-feedstock, which “will ensure we complete the sustainability criteria.”
Aquapak’s product is used as a coating for paper, to toughen car windscreens and in detergent pouches, where it is flushed into the waste streams. If it gets into the oceans, it will sink, gradually soften and fall apart, to be safely eaten by the bugs in the ocean and sea-life, tackling the ever-increasing problem of plastic waste and the resulting marine and environmental contamination. Its website sets out five aims:
- bringing multi-functional plastics into a circular economy,
- producing a recyclable and biodegradable material, with
- a high performance barrier, high mechanical strength, compatible with all end of life options
- optimising food waste collections with an anaerobic digestion compatible polymer
- improving waste systems used in healthcare.
Mike Everard, Managing Director of Aquapak, explains in another article: “ The British Coatings Federation estimates that 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. Aquapak offers a fully recyclable, flexible plastic pouch as an effective, affordable and sustainable alternative to traditional metal tins or plastic containers.”