Advanced materials engineering group Versarien has partnered with an undisclosed European consumer products manufacturer and supplier to develop alternative solutions for packaging.

The partners are planning to incorporate Versarien’s Nanene few-layer graphene nano-platelets into polymer structures in an effort to enhance existing products utilising graphene-enhanced polymers.

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Reportedly, the undisclosed company has several manufacturing plants across Europe and caters to the household and personal care markets.

"These are important goals for any consumer goods manufacturer as we all seek to reduce the impact of plastic packaging on the environment."

Under the collaboration, the companies will test several formulations comprising existing polymeric packaging materials with graphene loading to evaluate the feasibility of the nanocomposites in packaging solutions.

Versarien CEO Neill Ricketts said: “The incorporation of graphene into packaging materials has the potential to reduce plastic usage, increase the mechanical strength of packaging materials and improve their ability to be recycled.

“These are important goals for any consumer goods manufacturer as we all seek to reduce the impact of plastic packaging on the environment.”

The company noted that the use of graphene in packaging systems offers improvements in terms of moisture barrier, material strength and weight reduction, all with a reduction in plastic usage.

Versarien and its partner will initially focus on the development and evaluation of rigid materials for blow moulded bottles.

They will also assess the processing parameters to include cooling time, part shrinkage and recycling potential.