Berry collaborates with speedy SABIC

Chemical industry stalwart SABIC has linked up with Berry Global Group to drive the use of polyolefin resins made from chemical recycling.

Earlier this year, Berry launched a sustainability strategy called Impact 2025 and has pledged to design 100 per cent of its packaging to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.

At the end of 2018, SABIC confirmed its intention to build a semi-commercial unit in the Netherlands to refine and upgrade valuable feedstocks produced from the recycling of low-quality, mixed plastics waste.

The company has already produced initial volumes of these certified circular polymers using its existing manufacturing facilities. From this initial volume, Berry has manufactured a recyclable, coextruded stand-up pouch containing 30 per cent PCR sourced from SABIC’s circular polymer.

Berry has committed to continue to utilise a portion of these materials, which have the potential to be used in polypropylene (PP) or polyethylene (PE) applications in the company’s European consumer packaging facilities.

“As a leader in sustainable packaging, we place a high value on innovation surrounding the methods by which we recover valuable plastics materials,” said Tom Salmon, chief executive at Berry. “SABIC’s timeline for beginning semi-commercial production is one of the fastest we have seen in the industry and we were eager to join with them in initiatives that support circular economy.”

Unlike mechanical recycling, the process of chemical recycling removes all contaminants, including inks and colourants, returning post-consumer plastics to a quality indistinguishable from virgin material, suitable for direct food contact.

“SABIC is proud to be the first petrochemical company to implement a project for the chemical recycling of challenging plastics waste into feedstock for steam crackers. This exciting project is testament to our commitment to scale up advanced chemical recycling processes of plastics back to the original polymer,” said Bob Maughon, executive vice president of sustainability, technology & innovation at SABIC. “This project is just one example of TRUCIRCLE, SABIC’s new launched initiative to encompass circular materials and technologies to enable our consumers and product manufacturers to deliver greater sustainability.”

“We believe chemical recycling is complementary to mechanical recycling,” added Robert Flores, vice president of sustainability at Berry. “We are excited about the potential of chemical recycling to recover harder to recycle materials and keep them in the circular economy.”