An innovative new polymer

Hydropol enables packaging functionality and recyclability

An enabling technology

Hydropol™ is an enabling technology which allows traditional plastics such as PE to be replaced with a highly functional polymer that allows multiple end-of-life options and is designed for the circular economy. It can be used on its own or combined with other materials including biopolymers, to create a wide range of materials and packaging.

Created from Polyvinylalcohol (PVOH), our patent-protected technology means Hydropol is manufactured in standard resin pellet form. It is converted by our network of manufacturing partners using their existing thermoplastic extrusion machinery into blown film, lamination, extrusion coating, non-woven fibres and injection moulding.

Example applications already in full-scale production by customers include garment and laundry bags, food waste bags, ESD/anti-static packaging plus PPE including aprons, gloves and infection control bags.

Customer collaborations are also developing a wide range of fully recyclable products – from mail order bags to nappy wipes, snack packaging and pet food pouches.

Aquapak products such as Hydropol™ are specially engineered materials that can create a range of packaging products that are specially targeted to make unrecyclable packaging fully recyclable within existing waste streams and thereby reduce the amount of ‘single use’ plastic being used.

They allow users to maintain the primary functionality of their products whilst designing-in end-of-life recyclability, anaerobic digestion or compostability.

Hydropol information

All the benefits of plastic without the downsides

Hydropol gives all the benefits of plastic but without the problems associated with plastic pollution waste.

For example, when Hydropol is extrusion coated onto paper or board the resulting material can be recycled in existing paper/board recycling streams and enables 100% of the valuable paper fibre to be recovered – meaning unrecyclable packaging can be fully recycled.

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Summary Features

  • Unlike conventional plastics, which can take thousands of years to fully biodegrade, Hydropol biodegrades quickly and safely in the environment as well as in controlled breakdown systems like composting and anaerobic digestion
  • Water soluble. Hydropol grades are available in cold water and hot water soluble forms depending on the application, fully dissolving in minutes.
  • Non-toxic and marine-safe
  • If unintentionally released into the natural environment, Hydropol will safely biodegrade, leaving no trace.
  • Three times stronger than alternatives
  • Effective grease, oil and oxygen barrier
  • Designed to be used in existing thermo-processing equipment for a wide range of applications
  • Grades formulated to dissolve at temperatures between 10C-80C.

Technical Information

Aquapak's polymer is an alternative to single use plastic

Our blend, named Hydropol™ is functional, non-toxic and marine safe that competes with, and could eventually replace all the hard-to-recycle, non-degradable commodity plastics that have overwhelmed our environment for decades.

Read more on designing out the single-use plastic problem

The growing plastic pollution crisis

There is an ever-growing public reaction against the pollution crisis caused by hydrophobic plastics, which are sitting in our landfills, floating in our oceans, and showing up in our air and even our food. Aquapak’s patent-protected technology has developed Hydropol, a single highly functional environmental polymer made from Polyvinylalcohol (PVOH).

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Our Commitment

Around the world governments, NGO’s and individuals are driving an agenda to change how we consume and recycle plastic.

Aquapak is committed to developing polymers that, thanks to their biodegradability in different environments, can contribute to the protection of ecosystems and natural capital. Our innovations are the result of a circular economy model that has been the foundation of our thinking since inception of the company.

This model is based on:

  • using existing capital infrastructure in the plastics / packaging industry, which may not be fully utilised, and converting it to be able to manufacture Hydropol™.
  • working with existing waste management systems to improve the amount of energy recovery from organic waste, and re-use of organic materials, hereby reducing the amount of greenhouse gases generated in landfill.
  • improving the carbon footprint of packaging viewed on a total life-cycle basis.

Aquapak has signed up to the Global Commitment of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to limit the amount of plastic that reaches our oceans by eliminating plastic pollution at the source. Alongside other signatory organisations including Nike, Google, Philips, Renault and H&M, our aim is to set increasingly ambitious targets to accelerate the transition to a circular economy and to work towards eliminating plastic pollution by publishing data and holding key stakeholders to account.

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