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CoolBest juice cartons by brand owner Riedel

CoolBest juice cartons by brand owner Riedel



Advanced packaging solutions from Sabic

The company showcased its sustainable packaging technologies at K 2019 and also unveiled an innovative range of packaging created by its partners using its solutions

December 2019

An estimated one third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted – equivalent to over a billion tonnes of food every year, Sabic, a global leader in the chemical industry, said citing the Save Food report by the Food Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

Looking at future resource challenges, packaging will continue to play a crucial role in helping to reduce waste in the global food supply chain and ensuring that foodstuffs purchased by consumers are of the highest quality. Demands on the packaging industry are ever increasing, with packaging manufacturers needing to meet more stringent regulations to protect packaging contents and guarantee food safety, the company headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia said in a statement.

At the same time, fast-paced lifestyles are driving consumer expectations for brands to deliver packaging solutions that are lightweight, aesthetically distinctive, often transparent, hygienic and easy to open. Consumer focus on convenience and sustainability is not only putting pressure on packaging manufacturers, but also on retailers who stock the product, requiring them to drive change down through their value chain. With the demand for a mindset of continuous innovation, which includes considerably increasing the recyclability and reusability of packaging materials, the industry is looking to materials innovators for solutions, it added.

To help manufacturers create sustainable packaging options for increased performance and reduced waste, Sabic showcased its range of advanced packaging material and technology solutions at the recently held K 2019. Under the theme ‘Making a World of Difference Together’, Sabic unveiled its new Trucircle initiative and services for circular solutions at the exhibition, held in Germany.

Knorr bouillon powder containers

Knorr bouillon powder containers

Incorporating four highly innovative but distinct technologies, the new Trucircle solutions include Sabic’s flagship certified circular polymers made from the chemical recycling of mixed plastic waste; Sabic’s certified renewable polymers; mechanical recycled polymers and material solutions designed for recyclability. A major highlight of the Trucircle solutions showcase is an array of highly anticipated consumer products developed by leading global brands, leveraging Sabic’s ground-breaking certified circular polymer solutions.

“Sustainability is a core value at Sabic and we are committed to embracing the circular economy by adapting manufacturing and recycling processes, as well as designing products and solutions to help the industry with resource efficiency, optimal reuse, preservation and protection of food and goods,” said Fahad Al-Swailem, vice president, PE Business and Sales of Petrochemicals, Sabic.

“We are proud to be showcasing our pioneering sustainable packaging technologies at K 2019 and especially excited to unveil a highly innovative range of consumer and industry packaging created by our brand leading partners using our solutions,” he added.

Sabic worked closely with the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC PLUS) to provide proof of the incorporation of chemical recycled or renewable feedstock in our production and the resulting sustainability claims, verified by independent third party auditors.

 

CERTIFIED CIRCULAR POLYMERS

Sabic’s certified circular polymers are produced using a pyrolysis oil feedstock created from the recycling of low quality, mixed plastic waste otherwise destined for incineration or landfill. The resultant certified circular polymers are of equal quality to virgin polymers with outstanding mechanical, processing properties and purity. These products are used in the development of pioneering, high quality consumer packaging for food, beverage, personal and home care products by several brand leading customers of Sabic.

Candia organic milk cartons from French dairy company Sodiaal

Candia organic milk cartons from French dairy company Sodiaal

As a disruptive innovation, the introduction of Sabic’s certified circular polymers aims to create a new value chain, where Sabic, its upstream suppliers and key downstream customers, collaborate to upcycle mixed plastic waste back to the original polymer for packaging applications, thereby enabling the circular reuse of the planet’s natural resources.

Using Sabic’s certified circular polymers to create some of the world’s first food and personal care packaging made entirely from recycled mixed plastic waste, Sabic presented Unilever’s wholly recycled Magnum ice cream tubs. These are made from Sabic’s newly developed impact polypropylene for frozen foods, where high flow and high impact at low temperatures are required. For Knorr bouillon powder containers for professional kitchens, the Sabic Flowpact PP impact copolymer solution helps to create lightweight packaging that is phthalate-free, safe for food contact while offering robust performance for high stackability and easy processing. Together with Vinventions, leader in wine closure design and engineering, Sabic revealed a fully sustainable and certified circular BlueLine wine closures prototype. And a stand-up pouch from Walki was on display which features a food contact barrier layer made from Sabic’s circular materials.

 

RENEWABLE POLYMERS

Sabic’s certified renewable polymers are high-quality virgin polymers, based on second-generation, animal-free, bio-based feedstock such as waste from wood pulping process. Like Sabic’s certified circular polymers, its certified renewable polymers have been accredited through the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC PLUS). Its renewable polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) polyolefins help enable customers meet the increased regulatory demands of the packaging industry. Unlike some other materials on the market, Sabic uses feedstock which is not directly in competition with the food chain. Having conducted an internal cradle-to-gate life-cycle analysis of their renewable polyolefins, Sabic found that from sourcing of raw feedstock to final production, each tonne of renewable PE and PP polymer can remove up to two tonnes of carbon dioxide compared to fossil-based polyolefins, so potentially reducing the use of hydrocarbon resources by up to 80 per cent.

Sabic’s close collaboration with SIG Combibloc packaging company has resulted in Signature Pack carton packages coated with plastic made from Sabic’s certified renewable PE.

Flexible food pouch from Berry bpi group featuring an oxygen barrier using Sabic HDPE certified circular polymer

Flexible food pouch from Berry bpi group featuring an oxygen barrier using Sabic HDPE certified circular polymer

This material is an easy drop-in solution to current production processes, while complying with food safety regulations. It is used for CoolBest juice cartons by brand owner Riedel, and Candia organic milk cartons from French dairy company Sodiaal. Both applications feature Sabic’s renewable PP polymers for their caps and closures.

Flexible packaging examples from Aspla Armando Alvarez Group made from Sabic’s certified renewable polymers were also on display. Aspla’s eleven-layer stretch wrap product uses renewable Sabic Supeer co-monomer. A further layer is made from Sabic Cohere polymers. Both products offer high puncture resistance, holding force performance and food contact compliance. Aspla’s Silograss silage stretch wrap film made from Sabic Supeer polymer combines high puncture resistance, strength and weatherability.

 

RECYCLED POLYMERS

Sabic’s new enhanced mechanical recycling solution incorporates the maximum amount of mechanically recycled content without compromising the quality or performance needed for household, industrial and chemicals packaging. “Incorporating up to 50 per cent post-consumer resin (PCR), Sabic HDPE compounds deliver strong stress cracking resistance even in packaging with thin wall thicknesses for reduced weight, while enabling customers to incorporate the desired amount of PCR without compromising on processing and performance requirements,” the company said.

Sabic is also offering a new Sabic HDPE booster grade to help incorporate PCR or increase the existing PCR content in bottles from 30 per cent to 60 per cent. This is without facing degradation and processing issues, while minimising quality variations on machine efficiency. The resulting packaging aims to meet processing and quality standards of the industry, contributing further to circularity by saving on virgin materials. Sabic presented a number of household packaging solutions made from their mechanically recycled polymers at K 2019.

 

DESIGN FOR RECYCLABILITY

“There is an urgent need for sustainable packaging solutions that are designed with recycling in mind and offer a reduced carbon footprint per produced unit,” it said. Design for Recyclability is Sabic’s solution for the creation of packaging products – from their inception – which aims to minimise waste and help to enable 100 per cent recyclability. These include materials for rigid items such as tethered and short neck-design beverage caps that are recyclable and help meet the new EU 2025 recycling regulations. Furthermore, Design for Recyclability features flexible packaging materials that are fully PE-based products for stretch hood packaging, helping to replace traditional EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate elastomeric polymer) based material structures and PVC-based cling wrap film materials. Sabic is introducing Sabic BOPE polymer, which is designed for creating biaxially oriented polyethylene (BOPE) films. This new material supports easy and full recyclability through enabling mono-PE material structure in multilayer tenter frame of pouch packaging.

Sabic displayed on its booth, examples of stand-up pouch packaging made from its Sabic Bope polymers. The pouches are suitable for food items such as confectionary, snacks, frozen, fresh and dried foodstuffs such as fruit, vegetables and legumes, as well as for non-food packaging for personal care products. “It has very good printability, high mechanical properties and toughness for strong packaging reliability, as well as very high sealing integrity to prevent leakage and reduce food waste,” it said.

This new material also enables BOPE film to feature unique, controlled linear tear direction, thus making the packaging easy to open for consumers. This new product is also available as certified circular and certified renewable polymer.
 

IMPROVING PERFORMANCE

Sabic’s advanced polymers and technologies aim to help the value chain in the packaging industry with optimising cost-performance ratio by ease of processing, optimising production cycle times and energy consumption, light-weighting and maximizing integrity and strength of packaging, it said.

“The global e-commerce market is booming. Packaging solutions must be sustainable and durable, to protect goods against damage and enable re-use to reduce waste. Sabic’s range of polymer technologies deliver higher tensile strength and toughness to optimise the wrapping process by reducing film breakage and improving the quality and consistency of stretch films. They will help packaging manufacturers and retailers to optimize protection of goods, maximize pallet stability and reduce losses in transportation,” it said.

Reduced packaging weight remains a key focus for minimising transportation costs and this is facilitated by Sabic’s foam solutions for rigid and flexible packaging for both food and non-food applications. Sabic introduced on their booth its new recyclable foam box concept, made from Sabic PP-UMS with a melt strength > 65 cN, enabling an unprecedented level of lightweighting.

“Sabic is committed to the innovation of new materials and processing expertise through its dedicated global packaging team and the state-of-the-art Packaging Innovation Centers around the world. It is all about addressing the challenges of the industry and collaborating with customers, and the packaging value chain to develop even better solutions,” it added.




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