Zotefoams plc (LON:ZTF), the UK-headquartered specialist in advanced cellular materials, has today completed the acquisition of the assets and intellectual property of Refour ApS (Skandeborg, Denmark) for a modest cash consideration. In addition, Torben Andersen, Refour CEO, will join the Zotefoams team.
Zotefoams, through its MuCell Extrusion (MEL) subsidiary, is in the advanced stages of developing fully recyclable mono-materials based on proprietary foaming technology. The addition of Refour’s knowledge, technology and equipment will accelerate this development across a wide variety of applications such as barrier technology cartons and pouches, as well as trays and cups.
Zotefoams’ ReZorce® mono-material packaging offers brand owners and packaging suppliers a much-needed alternative to composite packaging, which does not meet increasingly stringent mandates on recycled content and recyclability of packaging materials. Combining the companies’ portfolios will offer a wide choice of recyclable packaging using foaming technology to reduce costs and material content in HDPE, PP and PET – the main polymers used in food and beverage packaging.
Zotefoams has focused initial development efforts for ReZorce on delivering a mono-material alternative to the existing “liquid packaging board” (“LPB”) beverage carton, of which an estimated 250 billion are used annually. Commercial-scale trials of ReZorce cartons are planned shortly while trials for other packaging formats, such as pouches, are expected to follow thereafter. Refour’s focus on other materials and formats complements the work done by Zotefoams and will increase material and application choices for customers.
David Stirling, Group CEO of Zotefoams plc, said, “Brand owners and packaging suppliers urgently need solutions that reduce waste and increase recycling in packaging, and we expect significant demand for proven technologies. Zotefoams and Refour have been following parallel paths in the development of mono-material barrier packaging but with a similar ethos; combining forces at this point, and in particular welcoming Torben to the team, will allow us to accelerate efforts and broaden our offering for customers whose current packaging is not fit for the future.”
Torben Andersen, CEO of Refour, commented, “The circular economy is key to reducing the environmental impact of packaging and current composite materials fall a long way short in this regard. Mono-materials produced from common polymers are an attractive alternative for brand owners, with the added advantage that no specialist recycling is required. Working with the Zotefoams team, I look forward to making this a reality, helping manufacturers meet their obligations and reducing the waste and energy impact of common pack formats.”