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Incorporating sustainable materials in long-lasting NFT channels

"We understand the challenges of both large and small players in the market and strive to adapt accordingly. From servicing large-scale greenhouse projects to catering to niche segments of non-standard hydroponics, we remain proactive in addressing diverse customer needs," says Paul Pedersen, head of sales at Intek Plastics.

Intek Plastics entered the agricultural sector around 2017, extending support to FarmTek, a greenhouse grower in Iowa, with NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) channels. Despite initial struggles finding new projects, Intek was set to make a positive impact, as Paul calls it. "We started attending Indoor Ag-Con, examining market trends, and diversifying our offerings." And so they began expanding deeper into horticulture.

"We soon recognized the potential beyond traditional NFT farming, and established partnerships with suppliers of automated greenhouse systems." This move has led Intek Plastics to providing up to 40-foot channels to a number of large automated greenhouses in North America. "We identified a niche in automated systems and capitalized on it, enhancing our market presence in CEA."

Intek's forte lies in linear and long extrusions, catering to a wide array of applications. Branching into bio-based and bio-sourced plastics, the company is working to consider options for sustainable alternatives to insulated polycarbonate panels. "These materials could be a great substitute for polycarbonate panels, but as of now, they're more expensive. However, when the scale is there, we could improve the price point. On top of that, with our expertise in the lighting market, we are also supplying lending options for vertical farms."

Pivoting to sustainable materials
Intek Plastics prides itself on delivering superior quality products while championing sustainability initiatives. With two facilities in the United States, the company ensures timely support and minimizes waste associated with imports. Moreover, Intek Plastics explores innovative materials and collaborates with research institutions like the University of Minnesota to optimize product performance and sustainability.

Towards a climate-friendly future
Embracing sustainability as a core value, Intek Plastics ventures beyond agriculture into specialty materials derived from recycled sources. Collaborations with suppliers converting municipal waste into plastic pellets and integrating wood fibers into recycled polypropylene highlight the company's commitment to environmental stewardship. Paul envisions a carbon-negative future, stating, "We are focused on doing the right thing for our planet and future generations."

As of now, all focus is on Canada and the United States, as Intek Plastics sees them as growing markets and a high need for greenhouse systems.

For more information:
Intek Plastics
Paul Pedersen, Sales manager
[email protected]