Recyclable alternative to PVC panels

Sku Driver, a British company that produces temporary and permanent printed POS displays out of compostable non-plastic, has helped develop a new printable plastic material, Composta Base that can be used as an alternative to PVC panels. 

KP Snacks is the first company to trial the Composta Base material.

It is made from a cornstarch polymer, a completely organic feedstock. It’s said to look and feel like plastic but is compostable and totally recyclable. The company estimates that its manufacture generates roughly 67 percent less carbon emissions than the average plastic POS. 

Sku Driver has worked with another company, but won’t reveal the identity or that company’s role in developing this material. However, Sku driver claims to have helped in the development of the whole process, from formulating the corn starch polymer, extruding the sheets, formulating non solvent based ink printing on to the sheets and then thermo forming the sheets into the relevant components for POS. The sheets can be up to 6mm thick in white and clear.

Rob Pink who heads up display Innovation at Sku Driver , says: “We can make it into sheets or on reels for thermoforming. We can also extrude component parts for displays, like ticket strips. We can make packaging trays for use in displays or off shelf units, but POSM is our specialist area.”

He explained: “We have been developing this material for the past two years, it is almost an impossible material to manufacture but our team did it. So far we have finished print trials on it – we had to use special inks that are compatible with a compostability standard, we have vacuum formed it into printed 3D shapes and have made water protection mop guards for the bottom of corrugated display units. We are about to trial the material on ticket strips.”

He continues: “We also take back the panels when customers are finished with them and have a non-corrosive de-inking method so we can recycle the material 10 times without degrading. Although compostable, we really want to recycle the material because it has a high recycling value. This also forms part of the circular economy and helps those who signed up to the UK Plastics pact, which is another bonus to our clients.”

KP Snacks became the first company to trial this material for graphics use. Keren McCarron, head of Corporate Affairs & Communications at KP Snacks, commented: “At KP Snacks, reducing the impact our business has on the environment is very important to us, and it forms a key pillar of our responsible business programme; ‘Our Taste for Good’.  We wanted to try and develop a really eye catching trade stand, but also wanted to try and reduce the CO2 emissions generated making it. We’d heard of the great work SKU driver are doing in this area, so approached them to make the stand for us. SKU driver developed the stand from a material called Composta Base, a world’s first. The beauty of their material is although it looks and performs like plastic, it’s not, it’s 100% compostable being made from plant starch. It’s recyclable too and also generates, when being made, on average 67% less carbon emissions than normal plastics.” 

Pink says that the material is completely recyclable and can be used to make other sheets that will look just like the original material. He adds: “For instance the graphic panels we produced for KP Snacks, we have taken back after the exhibition, these will be de-inked using a non-corrosive technique, ground down and re extruded to make other items. Even though our material is compostable we would rather recycle it, as it has a high recycling economical value.”

Pink says that Sku Driver is still in the process of developing the Composta Base material, adding: “We are developing items for global brands, each item is a new frontier, once we have nailed down all the print processes (our material had some novelty features) then we can release to other producers. Otherwise they would have too many issue with it.”

You can find further details on this material at


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