Charpak's Current Supply of Plastics

The products Charpak supply are produced from;

Clear rPETClear rPET plastic

  • Contains a minimum of 50% PCW (post consumer waste) and up to 25% in-process waste
  • Charpak reprocesses it's scrap back into material we purchase from our supply chain
  • Clear rPET is widely recycled

Black rPET

  • Contains 50% PCW and up to 25% in-process waste
  • Charpak has a closed-loop system to ensure our waste goes back into our products
  • Black rPET, whilst recyclable, is not widely recycled due to UK infrastructure issues, widely reported in the media
  • As an industry (alongside retailers) we are actively devising a solution to this issue

Coloured PET (excluding black)

  • Widely recycled and will nearly always be the basis of the PCW in black rPET


  • The industry is actively working to ensure that more CPET is recycled back into our products


  • Our product contains around 10% in-process recyclate
  • PP is recyclable, however, the UK does not currently have a way of recycling PP into formings for food contact - the common reuse is commercial and industrial

Sustainability & Plastics

Food grade recycled plasticWhilst the media is dominated by headlines surrounding plastic packaging waste we must be careful not to demonise all plastic packaging.  Across the supply chain, businesses need to respond with acctions that do not shift the environmental and recycling problem from one type of packaging material, to other less reusable or less recyclable alternatives.

There is no doubt unrecyclable single-use plastics are a bad thing.  Everyone has a responsibility to actively seek out alternatives to these.

Why use Plastics?

  • Without doubt, plastics extend the shelf life of food products, and reduce food waste
  • Plastics offer the consumer convenience and support modern-day, busy lifestyles
  • Almost all Rigid Plastics containing food items on the supermarket shelves contain PCW* recyclate content and are reusable or recyclable (* post consumer waste)

Environmentally Friendly Plastics

  • There are viable alternatives to fossil fuel based plastics, which are currently more expensive to produce.  Recent tests have shown that consumers will not pay more for this packaging
  • Bio-degradable plastics are available.  However, they are expensive and there is no household waste stream infrastructure to process them.  Bio-degradable plastics present a risk of contaminating the current waste stream
  • Bio-degradable plastics manufactured from PLA can only be commercially recycled.  PLA is primarily used for food products that contain moisture
  • Bio-degradable plastics manufactured from Plantic are home compostable.  Households in high density areas are less likely to have these facilities, and could compromise the waste strem.  Plantic can only be used for dry goods.
  • An alternative long terms solution is PEF, a non-fossil fueld based plastic.  This is in development, with potentially a 10-year NPD lead time before it can be commercially viable

What Charpak are doing

  • Charpak target zero waste for landfill. Charpak recycle or reuse 95% of all our wastePlastics Recycling

  • 99.88% of products Charpak manufacture contain recyclate, and are recyclable

  • Charpak mark all manufactured products with the correct recycle / material code to aid recycling
  • Charpak are developing a local closed-loop recycling scheme, working with local schools to educate and engage pupils in a recycling scheme
  • Product recycled through this programme will be locally processed and reused in formings we supply.  These will be designated as part of the closed-loop recycling scheme, and could potentially be a good PR story for our customers.  Watch this space as more details will be coming out over the coming months.

Plastics and the Environment:  Reduce - Reuse - Recycle

The reported environmental issues are primarily around what happens to discarded plastic.  Whilst the UK collects a good percentage of plastic it does not recycle anywhere near enough.  Waste infrastructure suffers from insufficient investment in Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) for plastics sorting, meaning some materials are not recycled back into the value chain.  Improved legislation and commitment b the Government to invest in MRFs is required, to enable modern society to recycle more.

Ultimately consumers and society must bear some responsibility for packaging waste, after all plastics do not walk into the streets, rivers, seas and trees.  We must educate consumers about reuse and recycling, and how best to recycle all materials, not only plastics.

The current alternatives to Rigid Plastic Packaging bring their own challenges.  The consideration must be if choosing to switch to a perceived better packaging material that we do not create other environmental problems.  For example, if companies switch to cardboard based alternatives it is highly likely the board will have to be laminated in order to be food contact approved, to meet stringent food standards - and where will that be recycled?  The UK has very few facilities to process this type of packaging.

There needs to be a sensible debate on the type of packaging used.  Charpak are firm believers in choosing the correct packaging for each product.  Businesses and industries must design products and packaging for recyclability, assessing the full packaging lifecycle, and which includes it's overall environmental impact.

It is very easy to jump on the anti-plastic bandwagon because of impactful negative headlines - but let's ensure we switch for the right reasons and not just for the positive PR that it generates in the short term.

Paul Smith, Managing Director, Charpak Ltd

Business Culture Awards recognises Charpak Ltd as National Award Winner

The Business Culture Awards Charpak recognised at Business Culture Awards 2017announces Charpak Ltd, the Huntingdon based designers and manufacturers of packaging at The Royal Gala Hotel in Kensington, London, as Highly Commended Runner Up in the UK SME’s Business Culture Awards 2017.

In a highly competitive category representing the UK’s SMEs Charpak collected the Runners Up, Highly Commended national award at the prestigious Business Culture Awards Dinner at The Royal Garden Hotel, London on 29th November 2017.  Charpak representatives to collect the award included Company Directors and staff from across the business: Technical Design, CNC Tooling, Warehouse, Finance, IT and Production Departments.

Through consultation with employees and an engagement survey the company developed a programme to develop a Code of Conduct to benefit all employees.  The Charpak Charter embodies a set of values and standards threaded through the entire organisation.  The Company’s Mission and commitment to drive an empowered and positive workforce continues to be built upon each and every day. The core values published document is advised by Paul Smith, Managing Director as “The blueprint which underpins the Charpak way of doing business.”  

The Business Culture panel of Award judges’ feedback was that Charpak demonstrated a “Wonderful story for the industry to learn from.

In addition, the judges commended your “effective and multi-faceted approach” re-iterating “the engagement level was clear and your impact deserves recognition.”

Consultant, Peter Lewis also commented “Without a doubt, the morale, atmosphere and culture within Charpak has been considerably enhanced on the back of Living a Culture of Integrity, and we continue to strive on improving this, fully embedded throughout the company with all our valued employees.

Charpak’s Technical Director Gary Smith tells us: “We feel proud to have achieved what we started out to do – to build a family-feel collective of individuals, that support and encourage each other to perform to the best of their ability whilst being the happiest they can be.

The Business Culture Awards 2017


The Business Culture Awards gives forward-thinking organisations a way to celebrate work which sets up their employees to succeed – recognising how their people’s employment experience is fundamental to business performance. Many organisations have created and implemented specific projects which have a positive impact on aspects of their culture – increasing purpose, pride, collaboration or learning by example. Business Culture is one of the top drivers for the best talent. Business Culture is the differentiator in how organisations deliver a service or products to their customers.

Charpak welcomes new talent

Paul Smith, Managing Director announces dynamic talent joining the expanding Charpak team. "Dan joins the team at an exciting time with the business going from strength-to-strength. With Dan's sales management and consultancy expertise, his experience is crucial in securing new business, and we also welcome two highly skilled designers, Sam and Daniel, who are already delivering the highest quality designs to solve our clients’ packaging needs”.


Dan Savident, Sales Manager leads the team in the next stage of the company’s growth. With 25 years in sales, sales management and new product Dan Savident, Sales Manager
development Dan has worked with both SMEs and 'Fortune 500' companies serving the grocery retail, automotive and sports apparel sectors with globally recognised brands including Tesco, M&S, Nike and adidas, managing teams across the world. Dan is dedicated to ensuring Charpak's customers elevate their products through innovative product design and ensuring Charpak clients differentiate themselves from their competition. Dan is also a keen historian and is currently in his third year of an Open University history degree.

Technical Design

Sam Eggins, Junior Design EngineerCharpak welcomes Sam Eggins as Junior Design Engineer. Sam’s experience in industrial and interaction design spans the full concept creation through to manufacturing new products for a plethora of global brands in the airline, travel and electronics industries.  Prior to achieving his BA in Industrial Design and Technology Sam had already gained dynamic experience working in Central London and Amsterdam product design studios.
Sam’s technical knowledge includes CAD modelling in Solidworks, Fusion 360, Keyshot and electronics coding in Arduino IDE. Sam says his inspiration comes “from anything and everything that surrounds me. I love working in a highly creative environment, generating new ideas and making aesthetics and functional products.” With a love of acoustic and mellow electronic music Sam’s musicality encompasses playing the drums, learning new instruments and is a proud Welshman.

Daniel Murray, Tooling Design EngineerDaniel Murray, Tooling Design Engineer, is the newest member to the Charpak Technical Department.  Daniel graduated from Sheffield with a BEng in Product Design Engineering relocating from Greater Manchester to join the expanding team. Daniel’s in-depth induction included 3 weeks shadowing Tool Prep Engineer Mark Harman to learn from Mark’s extensive 6  years’ experience with the company.  Daniel’s key role in the development and design of client’s end products is engineering the highest quality tooling for manufacture. Daniel adds further CNC machining, 3D modelling and CAD software expertise.  Just for fun Daniel has most recently designed and built a bespoke computer, and to keep active he’s transferred his Peak District hill walking into road cycling for the flatter lands of Cambridgeshire, when he’s not playing the drums.

Charpak invests in a cutting edge new milling machine

CNC Milling MachineThe ultra-modern CNC machine enables even more complex tooling to be milled at high precision and at high speed, custom-made to all shapes and sizes as required by Charpak's clients.

Sam Curtin, Tooling Manager, is thrilled with the new machine.  With over 14 years in setting up CNC milling machines, Sam intuitively knows how long it takes to programme each of Charpak's 6 machines for clients' bespoke formings.

Sam advised "Programming milling machines can take 30 mins to 2-3 hours depending upon the complexity of the client brief; and with the larger tooling and wireless capabilities on this machine milling the tooling is quicker and more efficient than ever before."

The investment adds further gravitas to Charpak's market-leading turnaround times and agility - supporting the company's vision to remain one of the few UK thermoforming manufacturers who provide the complete solution from design concepts to full production; including all prototypes and tooling manufactured in-house.

Award-winning designers join the Charpak team

Award-winning product designer Max Cubitt has an impressive MSC in Integrated Product Design from the University of Brunel.  Max has also been recognised by Marks & Spencer, Birds Eye and BT winning 3 design awards for his product innovation.  Max brings 6 years' product design experience from the events and team building industry' and constantly challenges his creative and technical boundaries.  Max's nirvana design moments are when he creates a truly interactive experience between the consumer and product.  Max designs packaging solutions for commercial market sectors using his technical 2D and 3D design skills in KeyShot, Solidworks, and CREO while incorporating physical prototyping.

James Martin brings energy and enthusiasm to the Technical Design team as our Junior Designer.  Graduating from Loughborough University with a BA in Industrial Design James is happiest when designing extremely technical and aesthetically stunning designs, new concepts and blue-sky ideas.  James likes to challenge the boundaries of engineering capabilities whilst at the same time ensuring every design is manufacturable.  James is happiest when he sees his conceptual packaging designs on sale in national retail for recognisable international and UK brands. Outside work James is an active sportsman, an avid sketcher and a keen freelance graphic designer.

Charpak expands production capacity further

Illig RD53In support of Charpak's growth a new Illig RD53d arrives in September 2017.  This additional investment augments Charpak's ability to provide its client industry-leading turnaround times from initial concept designs, prototypes, tooling and to production - within 29 days.

Charpak's thermoforming capabilities to produce increasingly complex and innovative rigid plastic packaging are sector leading.  Technical Director, Gary Smith is delighted with this new investment saying "A key differentiator for Charpak is that we meet clients' requirements of premium quality and replicable formings for short cycle NPD trials, line production trials, and consumer testing.  This investment re-inforces our commitment where we provide the extra level of service to our clients."


ChaKeifel KMD78rpak invests in two state-of-the-art Kiefel machines

As part of Charpak's expansion plans the company has invested in 2 further Kiefel KMD78 4-station machines.  From early June 2017 the company now produces up to an additional 100,000 units per day.  Managing director, Paul Smith confirms "These 2 purchases are part of our strategic plans to grow the business and increase our capacity re-affirming our position as the most innovative and responsive UK producer of bespoke packaging."

He adds "We know our clients appreciate Charpak's flexibility and agility to respond quickly to their packaging challenges; so adding an additional 100,000 units per day means we continue to strengthen our industry-leading service delivery claim."

Charpak will receive delivery of a second Kiefel KMD78 machine in September 2017.  This will add up to an additional 200,000 units per day.


The Grocer 2016-2017

Charpak, Innovative Packaging That Sells Your Product


Grocer Christmas Advert


 Groser Luxury Advert


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11 Setters have now started the NVQ Level 2 Polymer Processing – Thermoforming course which will enhance there skills in the process of machine setting, this in turn will enable the company to become a lot more efficient.

We held an inaugural training session in Level 1 Food Safety Training for 16 selected staff that proved to be very successful, this will now be rolled out to the rest of the company during 2011.

Congratulations go out to our First Aiders who all completed the First Aid at Work Training course with flying colours.

We also ran a Forklift Truck Refresher Training course this year as well as having 5 employees take the Forklift Truck Novice Training course.

David Hill, our Sales Administrator has just completed a refresher course in ‘Customer Relations’ to ensure we continue to support our customers at the highest level possible. Our aim as a supplier is to make your life easier as a customer!