Biopolymer Producer Aquapak Gets Major Investment from Private Equity Firm
U.K.’s biopolymer manufacturer Aquapak Polymers is getting major investment for its novel biodegradable, non-toxic and water-soluble bioplastic Hydropol from the Cibus Enterprise Fund (“Cibus”) of London-based private equity advisory firm ADM Capital Europe LLP.
As PT has reported previously, Aquapak’s Hydropol is based on polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH), is said to be three times stronger than alternatives, and can be easily processed into films, laminates and injection moldings, giving it a wider range of applications. The base plastic is currently used for dishwasher tablets, ingestible pill casings and soluble stitches. Hydropol’s resistance to low temperature solubility and high barrier to elements adds functionality, providing a wider range of uses. It can be recycled, re-pulped, composted and is distinctively compatible with anaerobic digestion.
If unintentionally released into the natural environment, Hydropol will dissolve and subsequently biodegrade, leaving no trace. Products made from Hydropol include garment bags, organic wast disposal bags and laundry bags for infection control. Its solubility is said to make it easy to separate from other materials, simplifying the confusing recycling options that exist for different packaging.
Products under development include sandwich boxes, packaging for dried pet food, snack and convenience foods, cooked meat, a number of home delivery / ecommerce applications, and a non-woven fiber for wet wipes. Further research and development into exciting new applications is being undertaken in collaboration with the likes of DS Smith, Innovate UK, and eight universities across the UK and internationally.
Cibus recognizes that the food & beverage industry is one that faces the most challenges and believes that in Aquapak they have found a functional, scalable and affordable solution. This investment closely aligns with Cibus’ mission to drive sustainability and resource efficiency across the food value chain and represents the first investment in the sustainable packaging sector.
Commenting, Alastair Cooper, head of Venture Investing at ADM Capital Europe, said: “The Cibus Enterprise Fund invests in a number of disruptive food technologies and in Aquapak we see a company that can revolutionize food packaging significantly improving the ‘end of life’. Aquapak’s customers are companies who share a vision for more sustainable packaging solutions on a global scale.”
Said Aquapak CEO Mark Lapping, “We are delighted to have Cibus as a new investor in Aquapak at this exciting time in the growth of the Company. With Cibus’ support, we look forward to accelerating the development of Hydropol into a platform technology which can bring a wide number of truly circular economy packaging solutions, over the coming years, to the global food sector, and beyond.”
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