Sabic, Polivouga and Nueva Pescanova collaborate in seafood packaging solution

Ocean-bound plastic converted into high-quality food packaging

SABIC, Nueva Pescanova and Polivouga have developed an innovative new frozen seafood packaging solution using certified circular polyethylene polymers with feedstock sourced from ocean bound plastic (OBP).

Sabic has leveraged its successful ties with Polivouga, a manufacturer of flexible film products with operations in Portugal, to launch a new innovative Trucircle project designed to reuse post-consumer plastic waste recovered from areas up to 50km inland from waterways that has the potential to end up in our rivers and oceans. The collaboration with the Nueva Pescanova, a Spanish brand owner specializing in the fishing, farming, processing and marketing of fresh, chilled and frozen seafood products, has resulted in the development of the world’s first frozen food packaging solution using Sabic’s certified circular polyethylene from feedstock sourced from ocean-bound plastic. The new sustainable packaging will be launched to coincide with World Oceans Day 2022.

The ocean-bound plastic is converted using advanced recycling into an alternative feedstock which SABIC uses to produce certified circular polymers – SABIC LLDPE (Linear Low Density Polyethylene) and LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) for further processing to flexible packaging film by Polivouga. Then, Nueva Pescanova packages its frozen seafood in bags made from this film.

The collaboration is Sabic’s first Trucircle project using recycled ocean-bound plastic in certified circular polyethylene. Sami Al-Osaimi, vice-president PE and Sales at Sabic stated that, “This is an exciting circular packaging solution for us, since it demonstrates how used plastic that has the potential to end up in our oceans, can be brought back into a circular material stream to be converted into high-quality food packaging. It also underlines Sabic’s commitment to the United Nations’ Strategic Development Goal 14 for ‘Life Below Water.” He added, “The results once again demonstrate the art of the possible when dedicated value chain partners collaborate with the aim of making a difference.”

Ignacio González, chief executive officer of the Nueva Pescanova Group, “As a seafood company, it is our great responsibility to care for the seas and oceans, the ecosystems on which our activity depends and which we must all take care of together. With this initiative, we will prevent this plastic waste from reaching the marine environment, giving them a new life. We have set ourselves the goal of making 100% of our packaging recyclable by 2025 and, through this action, we will be one step closer to achieving this.”

The ocean-bound plastic-based solution is fully certified under the Zero Plastic Oceans program and the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) plus chain of custody. This means that the material flow is controlled and tracked from the ocean-bound plastic to the final packaging following a set of predefined and transparent rules.

“The project reaffirms the determined journey we have embarked on with Sabic to drive circularity in our industry and takes it one step further, enabling us to provide our customers with premium flexible film products now also based on mixed plastic waste that could otherwise pollute our seas and waterways,” adds Tiago Barros, chief executive officer at Polivouga. “Besides delivering a food-contact approved polyolefin product, these ocean-bound plastic PE films ensure the same tear and puncture resistance as competing PE packaging structures made from virgin fossil PE resins.”

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.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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