Biopolymer producer Braskem (São Paulo, Brazil) has collaborated with Seventh Generation (Burlington, VT), household and personal care company, and Consolidated Container Co. (CCC; Atlanta, GA), a manufacturer of rigid plastic packaging, on the enhancement of Seventh Generation’s 100-oz laundry detergent bottle. CCC now produces the bottle using postconsumer resin and substitutes the fossil-based plastic content with Braskem’s “I’m Green” polyethylene (PE) made from sugarcane.
“We believe with each new product we make. We must also build new ways of caring for ourselves, and the world around us. We can use the power of business to start a movement that will change an entire industry,” said Seventh Generation’s Derrick Lawrence, Director of Packaging Development. “Our 100-oz laundry packaging was made of 80% postconsumer resins and 20% conventional petroleum-based plastic. We needed to do something about that.”
Biobased PE is plastic made from ethanol—a renewable and sustainable resource produced from Brazilian sugarcane. Cultivation of sugarcane utilizes CO2 and releases O2, which means the material has a negative carbon footprint.
“Our green PE is the perfect solution for Seventh Generation. It has the same technical properties and recyclability as conventional PE; the only difference is the raw material used,” said Joe Jankowski, Commercial Manager for Braskem’s “I’m Green” polyethylene in North America.
Green PE is a substitute for conventional polyethylene, which made it possible for CCC to integrate the product into the production of Seventh Generation’s packaging.
“We often work side by side with clients to help them develop packaging solutions for their business, taking packaging all the way from concept to shelf," said Sean Fallmann, President and Chief Executive Officer of CCC. “We have been able to use 100% postconsumer recycled HDPE resins along with Green PE to replace non-biobased materials, creating a very sustainable solution.”
“This is a big step toward Seventh Generation’s 2020 vision of all packaging being made from recycled or biobased materials. This collaboration with Braskem and CCC will help us improve our footprint and recyclability of our product packaging, in addition to bringing sustainability to the supply chain.”