A UK-based biodegradable plastics manufacturer has finalised a deal to supply a large international food producer in a move described as the first of many developments in South Africa.
Symphony Environmental Technologies, which makes and owns the patent for d2w oxo-biodegradable plastics, has signed up South Africa based food processor Tiger Brands.
The plastic will be used as bread packaging by Tiger subsidiary Albany Bakeries. This subsidiary is the groups biggest user of packaging and has a substantial share of the national bread market, owning 12 major bakeries.
Product additives to make the plastic will be exported to Albany Bakeries in South Africa from the UK by one of Symphony's licensed sub-contractors.
Tiger packaging development manager for grains, cereals, milling and baking Meghan Draddy said: "Tiger Brands has become South Africa's first national food company to tackle the litter and plastic-waste pollution unavoidably resulting from bakery operations. Up to 3,000 tonnes of potential litter and waste per year will now degrade and then biodegrade, within a short timescale.
Symphony chief executive Michael Laurier added: We expect this important step to be the first of many developments in South Africa. With South Africa's progressive attitude on environmental issues we are delighted to have increased our participation in this important market."
A spokesman for Symphony added that he hoped to announce another significant overseas development soon. He also said while the bulk of business has been overseas there is now an encouraging amount of interest from the UK, following the recent furore about plastic waste and the search for alternative forms of plastic.
Symphony's d2w oxo-biodegradable additive makes plastic degrade completely in a pre-set time-span, from as little six months, leaving no fragments, methane, or harmful residues.
Laurier said: "In addition to bread bags, our oxo-biodegradable technology can make carrier-bags, heavy shrink-wrap packaging and plastic bottles, self-destruct completely (depending on environmental conditions) instead of polluting the land and the sea for decades.