KING CITY, ONTARIO - The increasing demand for recyclable and reusable packaging has led IntePac Corp. of King City to harness the last free resource on earth - air. The 2-year-old company's AirfloPac-brand protective packaging is making inroads into applications once dominated by foam blocks and air chamber cushioning.
The innovative molded, rigid ``bubbles'' are fitted to the outsides of a wide range of products for shipping, said Forrest Smith, general manager of the company. They are reusable and contain 60-100 percent recycled low density polyethylene.
Clusters of ``bubbles'' are connected by hollow passages, which allow the material to transfer the force of a shock from one bubble to the next, absorbing the potential damaging force and cushioning the product.
``A number of companies have begun to use it,'' said C. Greig Clark, IntePac's president and chief executive officer. ``We think AirfloPac outperforms foam in packaging things like electronics, furniture and other fragile items.''
Because the clusters of air-filled LDPE chambers are fitted to their specific product, they can be reused to package the same type of product.
Because they are made of LDPE and are essentially rigid, they do not chip or flake, and rebound to their original shape.
They also do not scratch the surfaces they were meant to protect, he said.
``We are just beginning to find some of the uses,'' Clark said, ``and we believe that we can be competitive in price with foams. We also want to be as environmentally responsible as we can.''