Food packaging to use post-consumer plastic garbage

Noodles packaging in Malaysia will soon be wrapped in plastic wrap derived from recovered post-consumer plastic.

Saudi Arabia-based chemical producer SABIC and packaging manufacturer Scientex have worked together to develop material for the world’s first flexible food packaging made based on advanced recycled ocean-bound plastic (OBP), using SABIC certified circular polypropylene (PP). The material is being used in a premium brand noodles packaging sold in Malaysia.

“We are proud to offer our customers circular solutions to reduce plastic waste that could otherwise end up in our rivers and oceans,” said Abdullah Al Otaibi, general manager, engineering thermoplastic and market solutions business unit for petrochemicals at SABIC.

OBP is abandoned plastic waste found in areas up to 50 km inland from waterways that may eventually be washed into the ocean by rainfall, rivers or tides.

The OBP used in the project is recovered and converted to pyrolysis oil in an advanced recycling process. SABIC uses this oil as an alternative feedstock to produce certified circular PP polymer for further processing to biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film. Scientex then manufactures and prints the noodle packs from this film. The entire chain from the management of the collected OBP to the final packaging is seamlessly accredited under established certification regimes.

“Thanks to this highly efficient collaboration with SABIC, we are able to bring the world’s first advance recycled flexible PP food packaging to the Asian market, using circular OBP,” said Paul Ng Kok Leong, head of BOPP film division, Scientex Group.

“This successful initiative demonstrates the feasibility of tackling the plastic waste issue through dedicated value chain collaborations and sets a milestone in shaping a circular plastics economy in Malaysia and across South East Asia.”

With OBP content of 30%, the certified circular PP from SABIC performs the same way as incumbent fossil-based virgin PP and could be used as a direct drop-in alternative in this flexible food packaging application, without the need to change its existing equipment and processes.