A partnership and collaboration among three suppliers in the food and beverage space have resulted in the world’s first frozen food packaging solution that utilises packaging from recovered ocean bound plastic. This high quality food packaging, made of certified circular polyolefins, is expected to be launched during World Oceans Day 2022, which falls on June 8.
The process begins with post-consumer plastic waste that’s recovered from waterways. These are then converted to alternative feedstock, which SABIC uses to produce SABIC® LLDPE (Linear Low Density Polyethylene) and LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene). This is part of the Saudi Arabian company’s TRUCIRCLE™ project, designed to reuse post-consumer waste and return them to the value chain.
The material is then processed into flexible packaging film by Portugal-based Polivouga. The bags made from this film are then utilised in Nueva Pescanova Group’s product line of fresh, chilled and frozen seafood products .
This packaging is the first output from the TRUCIRCLE™ project. It is fully certified under the Zero Plastic Oceans program and the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS chain of custody. It means that the material flow throughout the whole process was monitored and controlled, following a set of guidelines.
Sami Al-Osaimi, Vice President PE & Sales at SABIC stated that: “This is an exciting circular packaging solution for us, since it demonstrates how used plastic that has the potential to end up in our oceans, can be brought back into a circular material stream to be converted into high quality food packaging. It also underlines SABIC’s commitment to the United Nations’ Strategic Development Goal #14 for ‘Life Below Water.” He added: “The results once again demonstrate the art of the possible when dedicated value chain partners collaborate with the aim of making a difference.”
Ignacio González, CEO of the Nueva Pescanova Group: “As a seafood company, it is our great responsibility to care for the seas and oceans, the ecosystems on which our activity depends and which we must all take care of together. With this initiative, we will prevent this plastic waste from reaching the marine environment, giving them a new life. We have set ourselves the goal of making 100% of our packaging recyclable by 2025 and, through this action, we will be one step closer to achieving this.”
“The project reaffirms the determined journey we have embarked on with SABIC to drive circularity in our industry and takes it one step further, enabling us to provide our customers with premium flexible film products now also based on mixed plastic waste that could otherwise pollute our seas and waterways,” adds Tiago Barros, CEO at Polivouga. “Besides delivering a food-contact approved polyolefin product, these ocean bound plastic PE films ensure the same tear and puncture resistance as competing PE packaging structures made from virgin fossil PE resins.”