Leeds-based LVF has become one of the first packaging companies in the UK to manufacture and sell products made from BreakdownPET – a biodegradable and fully recyclable plastic material that is designed to quickly, naturally and safely decompose in landfill.
LVF (Leeds Vacuum Formers) added BreakdownPET to its offering late last year, and already Podpak Ltd – a highly innovative, single-serve specialist from Bath – has made the switch to it. Nigel Coates, managing director of LVF, said: “The demonisation of plastic packaging over the last few months has been extreme to say the very least, but like the vast majority in our industry, we’ve been striving towards delivering environmentally friendly solutions for many years.”
“We recycle close to 100 per cent of all waste we produce, and have done for as long as I remember; and prior to the introduction of Breakdown PET, we used rPET, which is fully recyclable and contains a minimum of 80 per cent post-consumer waste.”
The decision to investigate and then introduce an alternative to rPET grew from LVFs concerns about the amount of plastic products that still end up in landfill.
“rPET is fully recyclable,” continued Nigel, “but the problems with it, and other plastic waste, arise from a combination of a lack of recycling facilities; the huge difference in the financial benefits to waste management companies of recycling certain plastics over others; and the sheer amount of plastic waste that never makes it anywhere near a recycling bin, let alone a recycling facility.”
“BreakdownPET is the future of plastic packaging material. It biodegrades in landfill, and is currently undergoing tests that look certain to prove it is compostable in non-commercial facilities.”
Designed specifically for the thermoformed packaging industry, BreakdownPET has all of the properties of conventional rPET, but also provides an end-of-life solution for the billions of plastic containers that find their way to landfill sites every year rather than being recycled for re-use. It features organic additives that accelerate the biodegradation of treated plastics in microbe-rich environments, allowing it to biodegrade like organic matter. Breakdown PET products also have an unlimited shelf-life and are completely non-toxic.