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The Road to the Circular Economy Passes through Philadelphia

Berry and Mondelez team up to develop sustainable, value-added packaging for Philadelphia cream cheese.

Berry Global Group Inc. announced today a collaboration with longtime customer Mondelēz International to supply packaging containing recycled plastic for Philadelphia, the world’s most popular cream cheese. The package contains plastic material recovered using advanced recycling technology from Berry’s partnership with Sabic, announced earlier this year.

Berry prides itself on its ability to provide sustainable, value-added packaging for leading brands around the world. “We are pleased to partner with Mondelēz International in providing packaging made from this advanced recycling technology. By recovering and diverting plastic that otherwise would have been sent to landfill or incineration, we are working toward our common goal of promoting a circular economy,” said Jean-Marc Galvez, President of Berry’s Consumer Packaging International Division.

Berry announced in November 2019 a collaboration with Sabic to drive use of polyolefin resins made from chemical recycling. This is in keeping with Berry’s sustainability strategy announced in early 2019 — Impact 2025 — in which Berry pledged to design 100% of its packaging to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025. 

During 2019, Sabic produced initial volumes of these certified circular polymers using its existing manufacturing facilities. Berry then manufactured a recyclable, co-extruded stand-up pouch containing 30% PCR sourced from Sabic’s circular polymer. Berry 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 Berry’s European consumer packaging facilities.

Tom Salmon, Berry Chairman and CEO, commented in the Nov. 11, 2019, announcement, “As a leader in sustainable packaging, we place a high value on innovation surrounding the methods by which we recover valuable plastic materials. 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 the circular economy.”

Today’s announcement adds to Berry’s list of initiatives to advance toward a more sustainable future. These initiatives include investment in mechanical and chemical recycling, the innovative use of recycled material in products, and global commitments to address plastic waste in the environment. Last year, Berry promised that 100% of its fast-moving consumer goods packaging would be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by the year 2025.

Berry is a global supplier of innovative rigid, flexible, and nonwoven products used every day within consumer and industrial end markets. A Fortune 500 company, Berry has more than 48,000 employees and generated $12.6 billion of pro forma net sales in fiscal year 2019 from operations that span more than 290 locations on six continents.

Image courtesy Mondelēz International

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