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Frozen Food Packaging Made with Ocean-Bound Plastic

SABIC, Estiko Packaging Solutions, and Coldwater Prawns of Norway team to introduce frozen food packaging made with 60% ocean-bound plastic content.

May 9, 2023

4 Min Read

Sabic joined forces with Estiko Packaging Solutions and brand owner Coldwater Prawns of Norway to develop and implement a highly sustainable new packaging pouch for frozen prawns.

The pouch is made from a multilayer film produced by Estiko Packaging Solutions using a circular-certified random polymer grade of Sabic PP (polypropylene) Qrystal with an ocean-bound plastic content of around 60%. Contributing to the recovery and reuse of ocean bound plastic, 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 ocean-bound plastic 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.”

A precise definition of ocean-bound plastic.

Ocean bound plastic is abandoned or inadequately managed post-consumer plastic waste found on riverbanks and in rivers to 50 km/31 miles 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, for example for manufacturing high-quality flexible packaging products. Estiko Packaging Solutions, the cornerstone of Estiko Group (Estonia) and key provider of sustainable packaging materials in Northern Europe, uses a SABIC PP Qrystal random polymer from this TruCircle portfolio to produce a multilayer flexible film for pouches used in the packaging of frozen prawns at Coldwater Prawns of Norway.

“Sustainability is close to our heart, “says Taavi Tikk, R&D manager at Estiko Packaging Solutions. “That’s why we 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 pouches made of ocean-bound plastic are recyclable in material recovery systems for flexible packaging.

The new packaging 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. They are cooked, peeled, and individually quick frozen (IQF) for packaging and sales. The prawns’ slow growth gives them a juicier texture and a more intense, sweeter flavor.

“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’,” says Hege Furnes, COO at Coldwater Prawns of Norway. “The material choice for our new pouches meets with our care for the ecosystem on which our business relies. By using an ocean-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.

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.

SABIC is debuting the Coldwater Prawns of Norway AS pouch during Interpack in Düsseldorf, Germany, from May 4 to 10.

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