Amcor Packaging Takes on World's Harshest Environment: Antarctica
Amcor Rigid Plastics-North America
270 Pickets Line
Newport News, VA, 23603
Press release date: October 2, 2013
Global packaging leader Amcor, today announces its sponsorship of the 2013 Willis Resilience Expedition, providing state-of-the-art packaging used by teenage explorer and climate campaigner Parker Liautaud on his quest to break world records while trekking from the Antarctic coast to the South Pole.
Nineteen year old Parker is attempting to create two world records including becoming the fastest and the youngest person to make the journey. During the expedition, Parker will also be conducting environmental research on the impact of climate change.
Amcor Flexibles Vice President Research & Development, Mr Bob Biasi said that Amcor is proud to be providing the packaging that will be used by Parker to store and protect food that is essential to his success on the ice.
"The packaging we've designed for Parker uses Amcor's innovative Duratear technology, that offers many unique physical properties compared to ordinary plastic packaging.
"Typically used for medical kits, Duratear enables us to create a super tough bag that will endure the extreme Antarctic conditions and the incredibly rough journey," Mr Biasi said.
"Parker's food will be safely stored in an Amcor bag that won't puncture, will stay flexible in sub-zero temperatures, won't split on high impact and will withstand all the rigours of the 640km (397 mile) trek."
Part of the packaging solution includes a clip sourced by Amcor that attaches to the bag and provides a re-sealable opening feature. This enables Parker to easily open and close the bag while wearing four pairs of gloves, minimising skin exposure and significantly reducing his risk of frostbite.
On an average day, Parker will be on the move for around twelve hours, stopping every 1.5 hours for very short six to eight minute breaks. On these breaks, Parker will access the high calorie snacks stored in Amcor's packaging to help take in the 6,000 calories he needs daily to survive, while expending about 10,000 calories per day.
Parker Liautaud, polar explorer and climate campaigner said Amcor's innovative packaging is critical to his survival on the ice.
"On previous expeditions, we've used plastic bags which are basically designed for school lunch boxes. Trekking through extreme wind and cold, while constantly hungry, it's truly a depressing moment to watch your food bag split open and cashews spill everywhere," Mr Liautaud said.
"The food packaging is one of the most important elements of a safe and successful expedition. It has implications for our safety on the ice, and our mental state. The gear we need - from clothing, to equipment, to food packaging - needs to be able to keep up with us as we push the boundaries of what's possible."
Parker's expedition can be watched live at Resilience Expedition, as each step will be broadcast live using a custom-designed vehicle that will remain separated from Parker except for voice radio and telemetry transmissions.
About the Resilience Expedition:
Departing on the 3 December 2013, Parker will have 22 days to cover the 640kms (397 miles) distance from the Ross Ice Shelf to the South Pole. Travelling on skis and towing an 82kg pulk (sled) with necessary equipment and supplies, Parker will need to average approximately 30kms (18 miles) to beat the current World Record against temperatures between -30 oC and -60 oC. During the Resilience Expedition, Parker will conduct environmental research including collecting snow samples in order to test the isotopic composition of the Antarctic snow at various depths. This will form a valuable contribution to current studies on climate change. He will also test a lightweight weather station for the first time in Antarctica, which will relay meteorological data every 30 minutes. For more information on the Resilience Expedition, visit: www.amcor.com/resilience.
About the Resilience Expedition Packaging:
The packaging designed for Parker uses the state-of-the-art Duratear technology developed by Amcor in 2006. Today it is widely used by medical device companies to safely package surgical kits and equipment - from eye kits to cardiac surgery packs. The packaging combines different resin technologies, using a blown film process, to create a super tough and flexible product that can endure the extreme Antarctic conditions. By taking the film technology used in the Duratear packaging, and adjusting it to fit Parker's needs, Amcor has created a solution that can keep Parker's food protected in one of the harshest environments on the planet.
Key features of the packaging include:
The technology developed by Amcor uses metallocene resins and a blown film process which maximizes the impact strength and puncture resistance of the packaging. This strength will ensure the food contained in the packaging will be protected throughout the tough conditions, such as being bounced around on the sled or being dropped.
While strong, the packaging is still lightweight, which minimises the burden on Parker who is hauling his food and equipment on a sled for an average 18 miles (30km) a day. Crucially, the packaging maintains flexibility at low temperatures of up to -60°C; this means the packaging won't stiffen and split in the extreme Antarctic temperatures.
The packaging also provides good clarity, so the contents of the bag are easily viewed. This means Parker can easily distinguish what food is inside to ensure he selects the right food item.
Amcor is one of the world's leading suppliers of healthcare packaging, and sells approximately 27 million Duratear bags annually.
Amcor Limited is a global leader in responsible packaging solutions, employing more than 30,000 people worldwide, operating in 40 countries across 300 sites. Amcor supplies a broad range of plastic (rigid and flexible), fibre, metal and glass packaging solutions to enhance the products consumers use in everyday life. Amcor also provides packaging-related services that help customers succeed through collaboration and innovation driven by art and science. Amcor is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. For more information visit www.amcor.com.