Austrian packaging manufacturer Alpla Group has acquired a ‘significant’ minority stake in Panara, a Slovakian company specialised in the manufacture and research of bio-based and biodegradable plastics.
The transaction marks Alpla’s continued efforts in the research field of alternative, sustainable raw materials for packaging and is in line with its increased investment in a circular economy.
Since 2006, Panara has been conducting research in the area of biopolymers, which has consisted of partnerships with the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava and the Centre for Applied Research of Environmentally Friendly Polymeric Materials (CEPOMA) in Nitra.
Recently, Panara introduced a recyclable bioplastic to the market under the brand name Nonoilen, which is made entirely using renewable resources and can be fully industrially composted at the end of its life cycle.
“Panara has a lot of experience in the area of bio-based plastics. In acquiring a stake in the company and partnering with Panara, we want to leverage this expertise and make the transfer of knowledge possible for our applications and customers,” said Alpla chairman, Günther Lehner.
Christian Zmölnig, director of corporate research and innovation at Alpla, said: “As a technology leader in the area of packaging materials, we engage in ongoing work with partners to develop new raw materials that will minimise carbon dioxide emissions as well as resource consumption.”
Alpla is already involved in the development of paper-based bottles through Paboco, its joint venture with Swedish packaging materials provider BillerudKorsnäs.
Earlier this year, Alpla announced that it will invest an average of up to €50 million a year until 2025 to expand its recycling activities.
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