Finisterre to switch from plastic bags to 'water-soluble' biodegradable alternative

Outdoor clothing brand Finisterre is set to achieve its ambition of eliminating all plastics packaging which is neither reusable nor biodegradable, after investing in bags which naturally break down in soil and in water.

The bags will be rolled out across selected knitwear lines this month. Image: Finisterre 

The bags will be rolled out across selected knitwear lines this month. Image: Finisterre 

Produced by innovative polymer firm Aquapak Polymers, the bags are designed to decompose in industrial composting conditions and in nature – be that in soil or in warm water.

According to Aquapak Polymers, the decomposition process is “harmless”, producing no toxic by-products and creating no microplastics. Instead, the bags, made from adapted polyvinyl alcohol, are designed to become “non-toxic biomass”.

The innovative bags will be introduced to select lines within Finisterre’s knitwear range this month, with a company-wide roll-out set to be completed in February 2020.

This move will see Finisterre meet its goal of removing all non-reusable and non-degradable plastics packaging from its products, after it successfully switched out plastic tags for string and plastic mailing bags for paper-based alternatives.

The clothing company said in a statement that polymer bags would “not be necessary in an ideal world” but are currently “essential” to protect products as they are transported from stores or warehouses to customers. It added that it had been working for 10 months to find a suitable alternative.

“The science behind our products is a solution to the world’s plastic crisis and we are delighted that Finisterre is our first adopter in the European fashion world,” Aquapak Polymers’ chief executive officer Mark Lapping said.

“We’ve worked with Finisterre’s packaging suppliers in Europe and Asia to use Aquapak’s material in their existing machines so its use can be extended to the whole range”.

Sarah George


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