SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, has joined forces with Estiko Packaging Solutions and Coldwater Prawns of Norway to develop and implement a highly sustainable new packaging pouch for frozen prawns. The pouch is made from a multi-layer film produced by Estiko Packaging Solutions using a circular certified random polymer grade of SABIC® PP QRYSTAL with an ocean bound plastic (OBP) content of around 60%. Contributing to the recovery and reuse of OBP, the innovative packaging solution reflects the partners’ overall commitment to sustainability and complies with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #14 for ‘Life Below Water’.
Abdullah Al-Otaibi, General Manager of Engineering Thermoplastics & Market Solutions for Petrochemicals at SABIC, states: “Recovering OBP waste that could otherwise end up in our waterways or oceans is a complex challenge and requires close collaboration with dedicated value chain partners. We are proud to present yet another successful joint project that demonstrates a feasible solution to contribute to this global issue with a frozen foods packaging pouch that capitalizes on the sustainable benefits of our TRUCIRCLE™ program. With its high OBP content, this application helps all players reduce their carbon footprint and support the circularity of flexible packaging.”
OBP is abandoned or inadequately managed post-consumer plastic waste found up on riverbanks and in rivers to 50 km inland from seashores. In an advanced recycling process, it is converted into an alternative feedstock which SABIC uses to produce certified circular polymers that can then be returned into the material stream e.g. for manufacturing high-quality flexible packaging products. Estiko Packaging Solutions, the corner stone of Estiko Group (Estonia) and leader in providing sustainable packaging materials in Northern Europe, uses a SABIC PP QRYSTAL random polymer from this TRUCIRCLE portfolio to produce a multi-layer flexible film for pouches used in the packaging of frozen prawns at Coldwater Prawns of Norway.
Taavi Tikk, R&D Manager at Estiko Packaging Solutions, says, “Sustainability is close to our heart. That’s why we at Estiko base all our activities on the aim of preserving a livable environment for future generations and provide responsible packaging solutions for our customers with no compromises in quality, food safety or convenience. In comprehensive trials on our existing film lines, we found that SABIC’s random PP material with OBP provided exactly the right drop-in-replacement to meet the requirements of Coldwater Prawns of Norway AS, including excellent puncture and tear resistance as well as high transparency for the clear part of the pouch that lets consumers see the packaged prawns.”
The new packaging pouch aligns closely with the sustainable harvesting practices of Coldwater Prawns of Norway. In contrast to farmed king prawns, the company’s cold water prawns are caught from the deep waters of the Barents Sea, then cooked, peeled and individually quick frozen (IQF) for packaging and sales. Their slow growth gives them a juicier texture and a more intense, sweeter flavor.
Hege Furnes, COO at Coldwater Prawns of Norway, comments: “We are passionate about prawns, purity and the planet, and when it comes to the welfare of the planet, our motto is that ‘it can’t get pure enough’. The material choice for our new pouches meets with our care for the ecosystem on which our business relies. By using an OBP based packaging product, we are making an active contribution to prevent abandoned plastic litter from polluting the sea. In addition, the pouches are fully recyclable in existing material recovery systems for flexible packaging.”
The certified circular solution is mass balance certified under the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS chain of custody. This means that the material flow is controlled and tracked from the OBP to each pouch following a set of predefined and transparent rules. As a result, for every ton of certified circular polymer used in the production of the PP resin, Estiko Packaging Solutions can claim an equivalent amount of flexible film as certified circular. Coldwater Prawns of Norway AS, in turn, can document the enhanced sustainability towards consumers by indicating the responsibly sourced packaging content on the pouches.
The new Coldwater Prawns of Norway AS pouch will be officially launched and presented by SABIC during Interpack in Düsseldorf, Germany, from May 4 to 10 at Booth B21 in Hall 9.
SABIC’s certified circular polymers form part of the company’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio and services for circular solutions. The offering also includes design for recyclability, mechanically recycled products, certified renewable polymers from bio-based feedstock and closed loop initiatives to recycle plastic back into high quality applications and help prevent valuable used plastics from becoming waste.