Enviro-Point bolsters sustainability credentials with Polymateria tie-up

By Charlotte Turner |

Sustainable plastic solutions for airports company Enviro-Point has announced a tie up with Polymateria, a pioneering British company which is the first in the world to produce biodegradation technology that completely biodegrades plastic in the open environment at a low cost, according to Enviro-Point.

 

Graeme Stewart, CEO, Enviro-Point, talked at length about the partnership during a panel session at the 2022 TR Sustainability Week, hosted by TRBusiness last month.

 

During the ‘Circular Solutions: Innovations and Inspirations’ session (see video directly below), Enviro-Point’s Stewart said he believes that sustainability is still a tick box and a ‘nice to have’, rather than a necessity to many travel retailers and airports.

 

He highlighted the challenges he has faced in pitching more sustainable LAGs bags to various parties, who seem distracted by bigger, headline-grabbing goals such as alternative aviation fuels.

 

 

UK-based Enviro-Point – a sister company to Luggage-Point, which operates retail stores and provides services in 16 international airports – has become Polymateria’s official partner for the aviation space.

 

SEEKING AIRPORT PARTNERS

The company says it is now seeking airport customers looking to transform their approach to tackle the long-term harmful effects of plastic and related recycling issues in physical objects such as plastic liquid bags, Steb bags, plastic shopping bags, plastic pallet and bag wrapping, plastic bin liners and plastic cutlery.

 

Polymateria came to international attention when its solution was recently showcased and utilised in products at COP26, having passed the British Standards Institute testing PAS 9017, which tests the biodegradation of polyolefins in an open-air terrestrial environment. Its technology is underpinned by EN, ASTM and ISO standards.

 

The technology is added to the production of plastic which over approximately two years turns into a wax-like material, meaning it is no longer plastic or harmful to the environment. Its advanced catalytic system is able to transform PP and PE materials into the bioavailable wax which naturally occurring microorganisms can easily assimilate.

 

The Polymateia Masterbatch product’s advantages include that it is relatively inexpensive to manufacture, has strength and durability, can be recycled and, crucially, it completely biodegrades if there are failings in the circular economy and the plastic ends up in the open environment.

 

 

This is all achieved while the consumer still receives those main benefits of environmentally-harmful traditional plastics.

 

NOTHING TOXIC LEFT BEHIND

Unlike the widely-used process of oxo-degradation of plastics, no microplastics or toxic substances are left behind post-degradation stage using Polymateria’s process. The controlled degradation process allows optimal use phase and recycling recovery, if a recycling option is available.

 

Stewart commented: “Although there is much talk in the airport industry about sustainability, often the paths they take to be more environmentally-friendly are expensive, ineffective and contribute little to reducing carbon footprints.

 

where there is a problem, there is always a solution

Where there is a problem, there is always a solution,” said Graeme Stewart, CEO, Enviro-Point.

“The solution we are offering in partnership with Polymateria is a game changer, offering value for money while making the ultimate contribution to sustainability – eliminating the harm caused by traditional plastics and other solutions such as the frankly misguided use of paper bags as an alternative.”

 

Airports and retailers are often reluctant to introduce sustainable solutions due to an increased price point, “often taking a narrow-minded point of view on sustainability”, Stewart believes. “However, where there is a problem, there is always a solution,” he added.

 

CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS

Elaborating, he said that Enviro-Point proposes that, taking the example of liquid security bags using Polymateria Masterbatch, that airports should look to create dedicated ‘collection points’ for passengers to receive their liquid bag.

 

Within this collection point, the typical clear Perspex charity boxes (similar to ones seen to collect foreign currency) would be sited and branding would be emblazoned to highlight that a percentage of donations will go to a charity (e.g. Save the Oceans).

 

The remaining percentage, meanwhile, would go into the provision of providing a free of charge sustainable passenger solution involving Polymateria’s innovation.

 

In Stewart’s opinion, airports would quickly find that due to consumer mentality, a large proportion of passengers would donate more than the cost of a bag e.g. £1.

 

According to Stewart’s research, a standard plastic liquid bag costs 1p, while typically a sustainable liquid bag solution such as that developed by Polymateria costs up to 2p per unit.

 

“Therefore, one passenger in donating that £1 would cover the equivalent cost of liquid bags for dozens of passengers, whilst also donating to an important environmental charity,” said Enviro-point.

 

“In addition, the previous 1p per unit cost of a standard plastic bag is likely to be completely negated due to those donations.”

 

Stewart concluded: “We are very excited about bringing the Polymateria solution to the aviation industry. As I have outlined, the airports can adapt their approaches to actually make sustainability a commercial model.”

 

For further information, contact Graeme Stewart: [email protected]

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