SABIC has developed a range of consumer and industry packaging to showcase the range of sustainable solutions it provides for increased performance and reduced waste. Among these, the new Trucircle solutions include SABIC’s flagship certified-circular polymers made from the chemical recycling of mixed plastics waste; certified-renewable polymers; mechanically-recycled polymers and material solutions designed for recyclability.
Produced using a pyrolysis oil feedstock, the company’s certified-circular polymers are created from low quality, mixed plastic waste that would otherwise be destined for incineration or landfill. The resultant polymers are of a quality and purity equal to virgin polymers, says SABIC,while exhibiting outstanding mechanical and processing properties. These materials are currently being used in the development of pioneering, high-quality consumer packaging for food, beverage, personal and home-care products from several major brands.
Examples of certified-circular polymers being used in this way are: wholly recycled ice cream tubs made from newly developed impact polypropylene for frozen foods, where high flow and high impact at low temperatures are required; and containers using Flowpact PP impact copolymer, said to be easy to process and capable of creating lightweight packaging that is phthalate-free, food-contact safe and highly stackable.
By comparison, SABIC’s certified-renewable polymers are high-quality virgin polymers, based on bio-based feedstock such as waste from wood pulping processes.
An internal life-cycle analysis of the company’s renewable polyolefins, found that from the sourcing of raw feedstock to final production, each ton of renewable PE and PP polymer could remove up to two tons of carbon dioxide compared to fossil-based polyolefins, potentially reducing the use of hydrocarbon resources by up to 80 per cent.
Renewable PE is being used in plastics as a layer in beverage cartons, while renewable PP features in caps and closures used on juice and milk cartons. Among flexible packaging examples, Aspla Armando Alvarez Group produces an eleven-layer stretch-wrap product using SABIC Supeer co-monomer and Cohere polymers, both of which offer high puncture resistance, good holding-force performance and food-contact compliance.
SABIC’s enhanced mechanical recycling solution was designed to incorporate the maximum amount of recycled content without compromising the quality or performance needed for household, industrial and chemicals packaging. Incorporating up to 50 per cent post-consumer recyclate (PCR), the company’s HDPE compounds are said to deliver strong stress cracking resistance even in thin-wall applications, without compromising processing and performance requirements.
SABIC is also offering a new HDPE booster grade to help incorporate PCR or increase the existing PCR content in bottles from 30 per cent to 60 per cent, 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.
The last of the Trucircle solutions, ‘Designed for Recyclability’ embraces products that SABIC is introducing as a way of minimising waste and enabling 100 percent recyclability. These include materials that help to meet the new EU 2025 recycling regulations. Among the products falling into this category are SABIC’s fully PE-based flexible materials that are helping to replace traditional EVA-based structures and PVC-based cling wrap film materials.
The company is also introducing a BOPE polymer, designed for creating BOPE films that support easy and full recyclability by enabling mono-PE material structure in the multilayer tenter frame for producing pouch packaging. The new material – also available as certified-circular and certified-renewable polymer – enables BOPE film to feature unique, controlled linear tear direction, making the packaging easier for consumers to open.
More information from SABIC, Airport Road, Riyadh 13244, Saudi Arabia. Tel: 966 11 225 8000. Web: sabic.com