A new £600 000 research project aimed at reducing the energy used in unplasticised PVC manufacture could in turn save production costs in plastics packaging applications.

The project, spearheaded by Rapra Technology, has been developed to find ways of reducing the viscosity of uPVC – and therefore the overall energy used in its production.

uPVC is used mainly in window applications but, if trials prove successful, the same principles can be applied to any extruded polymers used in packaging applications, says Mark Gaddes of Rapra. This could mean lower cost and thinner polythene bags.