ADM Capital Europe’s Cibus Enterprise Fund (Cibus) has invested in the British polymer production company Aquapak Polymers Limited (Aquapak).
Aquapak has developed a novel biodegradable, non-toxic and water-soluble polymer called HydropolTM (“Hydropol”) which is three times stronger than alternatives and can be easily processed into films, laminates and injection moulds, 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.
Furthermore, if unintentionally released into the natural environment, Hydropol will dissolve and subsequently biodegrade, leaving no trace. Products made from Hydropol include garment bags, organic waste disposal bags and laundry bags for infection control. Its solubility makes 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 fibre 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.
Each year an estimated 360 million tonnes of plastics are produced world-wide, at least eight million of which leak into our oceans. If the global attitude towards plastic doesn’t change, these figures are expected to at least double by 2040. Nations and global corporations continue to pledge to reduce their plastic production and to responsibly recycle and reuse plastics wherever possible.
Cibus recognises 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.
Alastair Cooper, head of Venture Investing at ADM Capital Europe, says: “The Cibus Enterprise Fund invests in a number of disruptive food technologies and in Aquapak we see a company that can revolutionise 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.
“Hydropol has been designed to help combat single-use plastics and hydrophobic polymers contaminating the natural environment, without compromising on quality and product functionality. We believe that Aquapak has developed a practical alternative to conventional plastics, and a game-changing technology in the global effort to reduce plastic pollution. As a truly scalable, biodegradable, water-soluble, and highly functional material, Hydropol looks set to revolutionise the plastics & packaging industry and drive the transition to a more circular economy.”
Mark Lapping, CEO of Aquapak, says: “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.”
Source: Private Equity Wire
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