Polyethylene film and flexible packaging is a specialised business and Tropic Plastic & Packaging is a market leader. With their new fleet of co-extrusion machines they’ve increased capacity significantly – creating more jobs.
A new addition to Tropic Plastic’s fleet of co-extrusion machines has significantly increased their production capacity.
The three layer co-extrusion polyethylene film line, which the company bought with help from MCEP, has taken Tropic Plastic’s extrusion line capacity to 2,000 metric tons a month. This is an increase of 400 metric tons, says operations director Mohamed Timol.
“Our extrusion capacity is [now] the largest in South Africa and the largest fleet of co-extrusions in the country.”
The increase in capacity prompted the company to employ nine more people in the extrusion department.
Located just outside the Durban central business district, Tropic Plastic employs 400 staff and manufactures polyethylene films, prints, converts flexible packaging, and is involved in lamination.
The company also runs 10 flexographic printing presses making it “the largest fleet and the largest capacity in South Africa”. “Our technology ranges from one colour right up to 10 colours, including HD photographic imaging on plastics.”
Tropic Plastic takes pride in having the largest capacity in South Africa to manufacture bread bags, and Timol says the company produces 130 million bread bags a month.
“Our customers include big brands like Albany, Sasko, Blue Ribbon, and Sunbake – the four biggest bread brands in South Africa. We also produce packaging for the poultry industry, boutique bags, courier bags, and grain pre-pack bags. Our production technology makes sure we stay ahead of our competitors in this market.”
Managing director Fazel Bhabha says the company also exports to Mozambique and Namibia, “but in a small way”. With the addition of the new machine, though, there are strong possibilities that the company will grow its market share into other African countries.
All this would not have been possible without the help of the dti, Bhabha stresses.
“I would like to thank the dti for introducing this programme and helping us because we would like to grow further. Without their help we wouldn’t have expanded so far in South Africa.”
The company is a leader in bread bag manufacturing, but looking into the future, Bhabha says, it would like to expand further into print packaging.