SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, is addressing the challenges of the packaging industry with an extensive display of advanced material and technology solutions at K 2022, demonstrating the feasibility of combining exceptional sustainability with outstanding durability and aesthetics. Over the past three years, the company has been collaborating with numerous leading players across the packaging value chain, focusing on five key drivers in the market: waste reduction, use of certified circular polymers, closed-loop solutions and ocean-bound plastic, use of certified renewable feedstock, and enhanced functionality and consumer appeal. The products and samples on display at Booth D42 in Hall 6 during the show from October 19 to 26 at Messe Düsseldorf, Germany, align closely with SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE program and demonstrate how dedicated industrial partnerships are accelerating the journey towards circularity without compromising product performance.
The global plastic packaging market is expected to reach USD 269.6 billion in 2025 according to a report by Grand View Research. This meets with a growing demand for flexible as well as rigid functional, food, non-food, and beverage packaging products to serve an increasingly urban population, worldwide. SABIC is firmly committed to helping the packaging industry solve the challenges of these needs with an advanced portfolio of materials designed to minimize the environmental impact of packaging, increase recyclability, extend shelf-life and prevent food losses, provide supply security and create sustainable growth. The following is a selection of packaging solutions highlighting these benefits at K 2022.
One of the most effective means of reducing waste is using durable yet lightweight, mono-material solutions and applications designed for recycling.
Tethered closures: Injection molded with an organoleptic SABIC HDPE food-grade, this tethered closure design for recycling meets with the new single-use plastics directive that makes closures, caps, and lids to remain attached to all beverage containers mandatory by 2024 in the EU.
Heat-resistant mono-PE pouches: In close collaboration with SABIC and Covestro, a new fully recyclable stand-up pouch made with SABIC BOPE material including Covestro’s heat-resistant coating resin technology was developed. This transparent coating, currently in the trial phase, has been tested and validated, offering a broader sealing temperature window when processing on form fills and seal (FFS) lines for flexible packaging as it prevents both, film shrinkage and film sticking to heat seal bars during FFS. The new PE-based high-performance, recyclable, mono-material stand-up pouch supports the drive to achieve a circular economy for flexible packaging, as it is a viable solution to replace PET or PA laminates in incumbent solutions. SABIC’s BOPE material is available in certified circular as well as certified renewable grades from SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio.
Sustainable foamed packaging solutions: Food tray from IP Verpackung and foam blow-molded bottle from SABIC. The tray can help reduce plastic packaging waste by moving from a single-use PS product to a reusable and recyclable SABIC PP-UMS resin, a new generation of high-melt strength, foamable PP solutions. The bottle is made of SABIC HDPE with chemical and mechanical recycled content from our TRUCIRCLE portfolio, with good impact strength and drop performance. The potential of up to 25% weight saving.
SABIC’s certified circular polymers are based on a mass balance accounting approach, according to ISCC PLUS, validating the feedstock content from advanced chemical recycling of mixed plastic waste and contributing to the mitigation of fossil depletion.
Retort pouches for wet pet food: SABIC, Mars Petcare, and Huhtamaki successfully collaborated in developing an innovative multi-layer film structure for SHEBA brand cat food pouches using certified circular PP copolymer from SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio. The phthalate-free and gel-controlled film layer has a 30% average recycled content in the packaging and reduces the use of virgin plastic by around 25%.
Fresh-cut salad bags: A premium range of Bonduelle fresh-cut salads are packaged in the food-contact film using certified circular SABIC BOPP produced by advanced recycling of post-consumer plastics. The BOPP film made by VIBAC SpA contains 30% recycled content via mass balance certification. These bags are fully recyclable in polyolefin waste streams.
Closing the loop & reuse of ocean-bound plastic
One of the biggest challenges in achieving circularity is solutions that will effectively close the loop of plastic packaging within the same packaging application segment. On another level, the vast amount of ocean-bound plastic litter in coastal areas requires fast action to prevent it from polluting our oceans and return it to the material stream of new packaging products.
KIND Healthy snack bar wrappers: SABIC joined forces with MARS and Landbell in a closed-loop project on KIND’s healthy snack bar wrappers based on certified circular SABIC PP. Advanced recycling of mixed post-consumer plastics collected by Landbell is used to produce food-contact-approved certified circular PP and converted into a flexible BOPP packaging structure. This mono-material application facilitates end-of-life recycling in existing collection and conversion operations without compromising quality and processability.
Mess-free, portable and microwavable Heinz Beanz Snap Pots: In an innovative recycling trial designed to close the loop on soft plastic food packaging in the UK, Heinz, Tesco, Berry Global, and SABIC have teamed up to create a certified circular PP solution for Heinz Beanz Snap Pots. Soft plastic packaging waste is returned by consumers to collection points at Tesco stores and then converted in an anaerobic process to oil. SABIC uses the oil in the production of new PP resin, from which Berry Global manufactures Snap Pots for filling with Beanz and delivery to Tesco. The new tubs contain 39% of certified circular SABIC PP.
Adhesive packaging labels from ocean-bound plastics: SABIC, UPM Raflatac, and Taghleef Industries collaborated to launch the world’s first packaging label materials made from certified circular SABIC PP based on advanced recycled ocean-bound plastic (OBP). This TRUCIRCLE project uses post-consumer plastic waste recovered from areas up to 50 km inland from waterways and proves that OBP can be brought back into a circular material stream for cost-efficient and high-quality packaging applications. You can see label examples made from this ocean-bound plastic on our stand.
Bio-based feedstock solutions
Like the TRUCIRCLE portfolio of certified circular polymers, SABIC’s certified renewable solutions are ISCC PLUS mass balance accredited. Importantly, they do not compete with human food or animal feed production.
Chips bags: Orkla launched its first chips packaging using certified renewable polypropylene (PP) polymer from SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio that is a drop-in solution for replacing fossil-based plastics in the packaging with no compromise on food safety, and is converted into a BOPP-or Natural BOPP (NOPP) food packaging film by IRPLAST. In Orkla’s chips bags, the material solution from bio-based feedstock reduces the carbon footprint of the three partners’ value chains by about 50% compared to the use of traditional non-renewable plastics.
Multi-layer bottles: Multi-layer bottles from W. Müller GmbH incorporate certified renewable HDPE polymer from SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio as an inner layer between the core and outer layers that are made of mechanically recycled SABIC HDPE compounds from post-consumer sources. The mono-material structure saves the use of virgin material and meets high processing and quality standards.
Consumer appeal & convenience
Beyond sustainability, consumers expect advanced new packaging products to also provide a maximum aesthetic appeal and in-use convenience.
Tea capsules: Melitta Single Portions is using a food-grade SABIC QRYSTAL PP copolymer with certified feedstock from recycled used plastic waste for its Avoury brand tea capsules. The transparent, aesthetic, and lightweight capsules support up to 80% reduction of fossil depletion vs. conventional designs.
Ice cream cups: SABIC PP PHC60 impact copolymer offers up to 40% higher drop impact performance as well as high flow and lightweight for chilled and frozen foods packaging. The material helped Piber Group eliminate or minimize the need for additional impact modifiers in demanding ice cream packaging cups, reducing material consumption and providing cost savings.
Yoghurt cups: At their Thin-wall Application Center in Switzerland, SABIC and NETSTAL are collaborating to transfer the technology of injection compression molding (ICM) to the thin-wall packaging market. ICM opens significant opportunities for down-gauging at lower injection pressures, reduced clamp forces, and shorter cycle times. A perfect example is lightweight yet stiff and stackable, aesthetic yogurt cups molded in a phthalate-free SABIC PP FLOWPACT grade that ensures high product safety at lower material consumption.
Visit SABIC during K 2022 from October 19 to 26 in Düsseldorf, Germany, in Hall 6, Booth D42 to learn more about these and other advanced packaging solutions. The company’s experts will be available at the booth to discuss how SABIC’s materials portfolio and design services for sustainable packaging can help you accelerate your journey toward circularity and reduce your climate impact.