“100 billion plastic bags are used every year in Europe alone. Anyone can conclude what kind of opportunities that brings…”
In 2014 8.5 billion plastic bags were given out in the UK alone. In response to this, in October 2015, a plastic bag charge was finally introduced in England in an attempt to lower this huge number. The policy has been active in Wales since 2011, Northern Ireland from 2013 and Scotland from 2014 and forces all retailers with more than 250 employees into introducing a 5p charge for plastic bags. But this is not just a British problem, or even a European problem where an estimated 100 billion are used a year but a global one. Plastic bags can choke or poison animals, with marine wildlife particularly vulnerable, consume resources, including oil, in their creation and even when disposed responsibly can take 1,000 years to decompose. Putting a cost on using them is one way of decreasing their use but ultimately new material innovations are needed, and today Luke Upton takes a look at Paptic a Finnish start-up founded in April 2015 whose new patented technology enables the manufacturing of a revolutionary new fiber product with plastic-like properties. It can replace plastic, and the Paptic team have single-use bags in their sights.
The technology platform is based on a 7 year and €10m research portfolio, spun-off from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland ( @ ) and the company raised a seed investment round of €1.1 million in April. The company focuses on sustainable technologies as well as the sales and marketing of wood-based renewable and recyclable products.
"Paptic is a practical example of Finnish excellence in the wood-based bio-economy. Our innovations are world-class and the possibilities are staggering. 100 billion plastic bags are used every year in Europe alone. Anyone can conclude what kind of opportunities that brings. Our first product is a direct response to the EU directive that seeks to reduce plastic bags usage," says Co-Founder, Managing Director of Paptic Tuomas Mustonen.
"Our purpose is to help resolve a major global environmental problem: the accumulation of plastic waste in the oceans and amongst marine life. If all the plastic waste already in the oceans was gathered up and put inside plastic bags there would be around 15 bags per metre of the world's coastline. Already 70% of the material used in the Paptic bags is renewable and biodegradable, and it can be recycled,” added Mustonen.
The manufacturing of the Paptic ( @ ) product began on a small scale in the autumn of 2015 at the KCL pilot plant in Espoo. Paptic and KCL are working together to adapt the paper machine for development and production of Paptic material. The machine will be used for pilot test campaigns conducted jointly with end-user customers and carrier bag supply chain.
As we are speaking in the first week of 2016, I ask Esa Torniainen Co-Founder and Business Development Director what Paptic's main goals were for the new year: “We have a big focus on making Paptic Bags available to consumers through our customer companies and upscaling production together with our production partners.”
“We have already agreed on pilot campaigns as we call them with a Finnish fashion retailer Seppälä and The Body Shop in Finland. In both cases we are to bring Paptic Bags to their stores during the spring 2016. They will be available for weeks as one choice among the existing (plastic) bags and the idea is to collect feedback from the whole value chain and especially from the consumers. During the 2016 similar pilot campaigns will be done with 5 to 10 customers in Finland, UK and Germany,” concluded Torniainen
Paptic Ltd. is currently looking for supply chain partners for production of Paptic Material and Paptic Bags. Paptic has already created remarkable interest among paper companies and there are discussion going on with several companies already. The company is currently looking for value chain partners for testing industrial production and commercial cooperation so contact them today if you’d like to discuss further visit www.paptic.com or e-mail email@example.com
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