DS Smith is teaming up with Aquapak to develop fibre-based packaging that aims to replace plastic with a biodegradable polymer.

After a period of pilot trials focusing on performance and recyclability, the partnership will now begin developing practical applications. This includes a range of fibre-based packaging where traditional plastic films are replaced with Aquapak’s Hydropol, a biodegradable and water-soluble polymer that the companies say will help to improve the recycling process.

DS Smith argues that its exclusive partnership with Aquapak will support its long-term sustainability targets, which include manufacturing 100% reusable or recyclable packaging by 2025.

With a focus on tackling hard-to-recycle items, the company hopes that the adoption of this biodegradable technology will allow for less contamination in the recycling and paper-making process.

Nick Thompson, materials development director for DS Smith, commented: “We are proud to be partnering with Aquapak in developing a fully recyclable packaging alternative to non-recyclable plastics.

“Aquapak’s technological advances in novel barrier chemistries combined with our broad range of packaging applications can help us work together to solve many of the most pressing packaging recyclability issues. The impact will be immediate, and our aims are aligned in bringing a much greater circularity to recyclable packaging products.”

Mark Lapping, CEO of Aquapak Polymers, said: “It is exciting to see opportunities for our innovative polymer coming to fruition through our partnership with DS Smith. Both organisations are committed to eliminating plastic-pollution at the source and by working together, we can help speed up the roll-out of recyclable, biodegradable packaging that is designed for the circular economy as well as being safe for land and sea.”