Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  22 May 2012

PACKAGING: New Boxes Relieve Headache


Recent Western Cape Business News

WHEN integrated supplier of resin support products and mining accessories Minova RSA heard about a new environmentally friendly seafood box being launched in Cape Town, they knew they found the answer to their most pressing logistical problem.

The company had been struggling to transport rock bolts and resin capsules, anchor bolts used to stabilize rock excavations, in the characteristically wet conditions of South African mines (particularly near the production areas). In other countries, such as Australia, the goods were transported into mines using reinforced or waxed cardboard boxes on a pallet, but in local mines the boxes kept disintegrating due to moisture damage and presented problems with recycling and storage.

The solution came from CoolSeal SA, a polypropylene box originally used in the cold chain for the delivery of chilled fish and meat.

The CoolSeal range has been designed by UK Group Tri-Pack Plastics, replacing the traditional expanded polystyrene box. The Ampaglas Plastics Group brought the product to South Africa in October 2011.

The edges of the boxes are sealed through patented technology to create stronger, moisture-resistant packaging. After use, it is easily baled for recycling.

We hadn’t even thought of marketing the box to mining companies,” says Christo Pienaar, managing director of CoolSeal SA. “But we were certain it would provide the perfect solution.”

Polypropylene, also known as twin-wall coruplast or correx, is a little-used but extremely effective packaging material. It provides the same strength as a reinforced corrugated cardboard box without being as heavy. The material is well sought-after by recyclers and can be easily reground and reused. The packaging can be easily retooled and made in virtually any colour, thickness or size.

It provided Minova with the added bonus of greening their operations,” says Pienaar. “Waxed cardboard cannot be recycled. It’s also not necessarily wet-proof…a corrugated cardboard sheet is made up of at least three pieces of board, a corrugated sheet sandwiched by two flat sheets. In the case of corrugated cardboard, it may only be the outer flat sheets that are impregnated by paraffin wax or wax blend. That leaves it vulnerable to moisture damage. Our boxes were designed to be 100% resistant to moisture damage.”

The boxes are currently being tested at various mines but Pienaar is confident of its success. “Ampaglas has a number of mining clients who are experiencing similar problems, and we look forward to solving them,” he says.

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