Biopack to increase production with 'Bio-Coating' machines

Biopack Environmental Solutions, a manufacturer and supplier of biodegradable packaging products, ha

The company claims that each machine has a capacity of coating up to 47 million pieces a year and could increase production capacity by over 15 times the current coated tray production rate, allowing it to accept larger orders.

The company introduced its biodegradable coated trays on October 22, 2009. The company claims that these coated trays have increased the suitability of its products for market segments in areas of the packaging industry, such as fresh and frozen meats, ready-made meals and baked goods.

The company has worked closely with a machine building company in the design and development of the Bio-Coating machine. These machines are designed to automate the entire coating application process, incorporating several steps and will increase production efficiency. Each machine may be individually adjusted to suit the weight of coating required for the various types and sizes of products.

Gerald Lau, CEO of Biopack, said: "We are very excited to get the first Bio-Coating machine into our factory and in operation. We spent a considerable amount of resources to develop a coating solution for our trays, as we believed there would be great demand for it once available."

Mr Lau added, "With strong initial reaction and interest coupled with our first orders, we believe the coated tray market and the ability of Biopack to handle the subsequent large volume orders, has the potential to not only significantly increase our revenues, but at the same time allow us to break into new market segments and product offerings that were previously unattainable."

The company also developed a water resistant or 'coated' fish tray to an international food conglomerate. It said that this tray was specifically made to complement an existing product within this retailers Sustainable Seafood Program, a 10-point policy which dictates how seafood is purchased and sold, based on social, ecological and economic considerations.

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The strange death of boozy Britain: why are young people drinking less?

Ditching alcohol for work.

Whenever horrific tales of the drunken escapades of the youth are reported, one photo reliably gets wheeled out: "bench girl", a young woman lying passed out on a public bench above bottles of booze in Bristol. The image is in urgent need of updating: it is now a decade old. Britain has spent that time moving away from booze.

Individual alcohol consumption in Britain has declined sharply. In 2013, the average person over 15 consumed 9.4 litres of alcohol, 19 per cent less than 2004. As with drugs, the decline in use among the young is particularly notable: the proportion of young adults who are teetotal increased by 40 per cent between 2005 and 2013. But decreased drinking is not only apparent among the young fogeys: 80 per cent of adults are making some effort to drink less, according to a new study by consumer trends agency Future Foundation. No wonder that half of all nightclubs have closed in the last decade. Pubs are also closing down: there are 13 per cent fewer pubs in the UK than in 2002. 

People are too busy vying to get ahead at work to indulge in drinking. A combination of the recession, globalisation and technology has combined to make the work of work more competitive than ever: bad news for alcohol companies. “The cost-benefit analysis for people of going out and getting hammered starts to go out of favour,” says Will Seymour of Future Foundation.

Vincent Dignan is the founder of Magnific, a company that helps tech start-ups. He identifies ditching regular boozing as a turning point in his career. “I noticed a trend of other entrepreneurs drinking three, four or five times a week at different events, while their companies went nowhere,” he says. “I realised I couldn't be just another British guy getting pissed and being mildly hungover while trying to scale a website to a million visitors a month. I feel I have a very slight edge on everyone else. While they're sleeping in, I'm working.” Dignan now only drinks occasionally; he went three months without having a drop of alcohol earlier in the year.

But the decline in booze consumption isn’t only about people becoming more work-driven. There have never been more alternate ways to be entertained than resorting to the bottle. The rise of digital TV, BBC iPlayer and Netflix means most people means that most people have almost limitless about what to watch.

Some social lives have also partly migrated online. In many ways this is an unfortunate development, but one upshot has been to reduce alcohol intake. “You don’t need to drink to hang out online,” says Dr James Nicholls, the author of The Politics of Alcohol who now works for Alcohol Concern. 

The sheer cost of boozing also puts people off. Although minimum pricing on booze has not been introduced, a series of taxes have made alcohol more expensive, while a ban on below-cost selling was introduced last year. Across the 28 countries of the EU, only Ireland has higher alcohol and tobacco prices than the UK today; in 1998 prices in the UK were only the fourth most expensive in the EU.

Immigration has also contributed to weaning Britain off booze. The decrease in alcohol consumption “is linked partly to demographic trends: the fall is largest in areas with greater ethnic diversity,” Nicholls says. A third of adults in London, where 37 per cent of the population is foreign born, do not drink alcohol at all, easily the highest of any region in Britain.

The alcohol industry is nothing if not resilient. “By lobbying for lower duty rates, ramping up their marketing and developing new products the big producers are doing their best to make sure the last ten years turn out to be a blip rather than a long term change in culture,” Nicholls says.

But whatever alcohol companies do to fight back against the declining popularity of booze, deep changes in British culture have made booze less attractive. Forget the horrific tales of drunken escapades from Magaluf to the Bullingdon Club. The real story is of the strange death of boozy Britain. 

Tim Wigmore is a contributing writer to the New Statesman and the author of Second XI: Cricket In Its Outposts.