November 11, 2019 -Berry Global Group, Inc. announced today its collaboration with global chemical industry leader, SABIC in driving the innovation and use of polyolefin resins made from chemical recycling. The companies boast a longtime partnership and focus on their shared values of sustainability and promotion of a circular economy.
Earlier this year, Berry announced its sustainability strategy Impact 2025, and has pledged to design 100 percent of its packaging to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025. As part of this commitment and in support of circular economy, Berry says it is always advancing to utilize new and innovative methods to create more environmentally sustainable packaging. Included in the Company’s efforts is the collaboration with trusted suppliers to aid in the advancement of the packaging industry as a whole, Berry also states.
SABIC announced at the end of 2018 its intended project to build a semi-commercial unit in the Netherlands to refine and upgrade valuable feedstocks produced from the recycling of low-quality, mixed plastic waste.
During 2019, SABIC 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 percent PCR sourced from SABIC’s circular polymer. Berry has committed to continue to utilize 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 plastic materials,” said Tom Salmon, Chairman and CEO 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.”
Known benefits of chemical recycling include the ability to recycle mixed plastic waste that would have otherwise been destined for landfill or incineration. Unlike mechanical recycling, the process of chemical recycling removes all contaminants, including inks and colorants, returning post-consumer plastic 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 plastic 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, 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.”
Berry claims it is a leader in design for recycling, and continues to stay abreast of recycling innovations. This work to support chemical recycling is complemented by Berry’s list of sustainability initiatives, including being a signatory to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, an active member in the Association of Plastic Recyclers, and is, together with SABIC, a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste.
The collaboration between Berry and SABIC reflects both companies’ commitment to driving a circular economy for plastics. Berry has been a vocal advocate in support of recycling, regardless of means, and is making a bold stance to encourage the use and development of chemical recycling.
“We believe chemical recycling is complementary to mechanical recycling. We are excited about the potential of chemical recycling to recover harder to recycle materials and keep them in the circular economy,” said Robert Flores, Vice President of Sustainability at Berry.
“As consumer demand for sustainable packaging continues to increase, we continue to advance the innovative ways by which we supply these markets. We anticipate chemical recycling will play a critical role in the reuse of valuable materials, keeping more plastics in the value chain and out of the waste stream,” said Salmon.
Berry Global Group, Inc. , headquartered in Evansville, Indiana, says it partners with its customers to provide them with value-added protective solutions that are increasingly light-weighted and easier to recycle or reuse. The Company is a global supplier of a broad range of innovative rigid, flexible, and nonwoven products used every day within consumer and industrial end markets. Berryhas over 48,000 employees and generated approximately US$ 13 billion of sales in fiscal year 2018 on a combined pro forma basis from operations that span over 290 locations on six continents.
SABIC is a global leader in diversified chemicals headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. SABIC manufactures on a global scale in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific, making distinctly different kinds of products: chemicals, commodity and high performance plastics, agri-nutrients and metals. SABIC sells its products to key end markets such as construction, medical devices, packaging, agri-nutrients, electrical and electronics, transportation and clean energy. SABIC recorded a net profit of US$ 5.7 billion in 2018. Sales revenues for 2018 totaled US$ 45 billion while total assets stood at US$ 85 billion. Production in 2018 was 75.3 million metric tons. SABIC has more than 33,000 employees worldwide and operates in around 50 countries. SABIC has 11,738 global patent filings, and significant research resources with innovation hubs in five key geographies – USA, Europe, Middle East, South Asia and North Asia.