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Meeting demand for better hygiene under the “new normal”

Source:International Plastics News for Asia

Date Published:6/29/2020 09:06:37 PM

With the “new normal" in place, precautions and safety measures are giving rise to new plastic products.

With the restaurants opening up in areas previously closed due to the spread of the coronavirus, the need for precautions and implementation of enhanced safety measures are going to form part of the “new normal.” In particular, fast food chains are doing their best efforts to give their customers a satisfying and safe experience. 

Surely protocols will be in order when the restaurants are opening up, but in busy restaurants workers often did not have time to clean the trays they hand out when customers pick up their foods. And if the trays were cleaned, it was too often that the same dirty cloth, from the same bucket of water from hours ago, was used to wipe them all clean. All that’s doing is spreading the germs around. Surely now this is minded much more and protocols will be in place for a regular cleaning of the trays. But how long will it take before falling back to old habits?

Food trays from recycled plastics
A new food tray has just been released combining the best of two worlds. These often carelessly used trays are now made from recycled ocean waste plastic. Taking a material that served in the fishing industry as ropes and cages will now serve you food in a second life as a serving tray. And they house more special features; they are fitted with a unique technology that keeps the trays clean constantly. This technology integrates in the plastic a body's own trace element that normally is vital for your body's immune system. The way this element is defending your body against bacteria and viruses is now ingeniously integrated making the surface of the plastic material resistant to all germs, keeping the surface hygienic without adhesion and proliferation of these germs.

Official third-party testing following international protocols show that a user will have >99,9% lesser germs on these new trays compared to the trays used before. A solution that makes very good sense in times of the spread of diseases such as Covid-19. Bringing the utmost hygiene to these often-forgotten surfaces.

The Norwegian company ZincIn AS is leveraging the advantages of these two inspiring concepts, launching these ocean waste hygienic food trays. Kjetil Christoffersen, founder of ZincIn has always been on the lookout for innovations and is a designer of products that make life better, more ergonomic and inspiring. “Working with the Parx Materials antimicrobial technology sparked a whole new array of possibilities that can bring benefits and advantages to our lives.” says Mr. Christoffersen.

“Combining it with the NOPREC recycled material that has served our food chain already before and now once again, seemed a logical step.” Inspired by the vision and product concepts of ZincIn, Parx Materials also joined Mr. Christoffersen as a shareholder and board member in ZincIn, making it a strong alliance for the Scandinavian market and beyond, with more interesting products ahead.

The first customer has already signed-up taking over 10.000 of these new food trays so soon these trays can be found in major fast food restaurants.

ZincIn AS is slated to present and distribute both existing and newly developed products containing Parx's unique technology. Based on the company’s experience and expertise, it will contribute in relation to design/development, research, simulations/strength calculation/testing (material technology), thermo- and fluid dynamic forces, model and prototype building, patenting, manufacturing and marketing. The team behind ZincIn AS has more than 30 years of experience related to innovation work and the establishment of distribution. Through the ownership structure and partnership, relevant professional disciplines are taken care of in order to establish new sustainable concepts and/or products.

Parx Materials N.V. specialises in the development and manufacturing of materials with sustainable antibiofilm and antimicrobial properties. The company's technology does not use harmful or toxic chemicals, biocides, heavy metals or nanoparticles. It can be used with any type of plastic and for any type of application. It is fully biocompatible and it does not diffuse out of the material. Also, it prevents bacteria and microorganisms pilling up on the surface of a product with an efficacy of 99,9% and higher within 24 hours. 

In the summer of 2017 Norwegian Plastic Recycling AS (NOPREC) started the brand-new granulation line in a small place called Matmortua at the very end of the sea gap. After test-running and fine-tuning the plant, high-quality plastic raw materials are now produced from end-of-life farm cages, feed bags and hoses from the aquaculture industry and ropes, plastic tanks and other plastic waste from the fishing industry. Norwegian Plastic Recycling AS is the only one in Norway that reorganises hard plastic and ropes.


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