Mannok, a sustainable plastic food packaging manufacturer in Ballyconnell, County Cavan, features in ‘Heated’, a new RTE documentary that highlights people and organisations with remarkable, innovative solutions aimed at benefiting the planet and addressing climate change.

The six-part climate series is broadcast on RTÉ One and Mannok features on episode five. During the first part of this episode, presenter Rónán Ó Dálaigh visits Novelplast and Mannok to explore how two Irish companies are transforming the plastic packaging industry to increase plastic recyclability and reduce the amount of plastic that goes to landfill.  

While visiting Mannok, General Manager, Mark McKenna, takes Rónán around the manufacturing facility, showcasing the innovation used to improve recyclability and establish a true circular economy. Mark explains during the show,  

“We manufacture 2 million units of plastic food packaging annually, this includes meat and poultry trays, mushroom punnets, and dairy spread containers for major Irish & UK supermarkets.

 All of our PET (polyethylene terephthalate) products have 90% recycled content; while we do have 100% recycled products, at times, we need to add colour to trays and a small amount of virgin plastic, accounting for the remaining 10%.   

Not only are we using recycled plastic to create our products, but we have also done a lot of work in recent years to make our products more easily recyclable. All our products can be infinitely recycled. We have streamlined our products to consist of mono materials, containing only one type of plastic, and we have eliminated the need for absorbent pads in our Turloc meat tray range.”

Mark also explained in the episode that Mannok is a zero-waste manufacturer and has a closed loop system. For every tonne of raw material purchased, there is the equivalent quantity of material in trays leaving the factory.

Mannok is a client of Novelplast, a company in County Meath leading the change in how polyester material is recycled and repurposed. Novelplast transforms post-industrial plastic materials into innovative, sustainable products which are used by companies like Mannok to create new products. Its technology, developed in partnership with Starlinger, is the first of its kind in Europe and it recycles 20,000 tonnes of post-industrial Polyester fibre and other forms of Polyester material from landfill per year.

Novelplast, CEO, Neil Skeffington, concluded on the episode, “plastics aren’t bad; it’s how we deal with plastics after we have finished with them that is the problem.” Watch the full episode on RTE Player: