BASF, SABIC and SÜDPACK have collaborated to design a pack for Zur Mühlen Gruppe’s new line of organic poultry sausages, in which two-thirds of the raw material used for the packaging comes from plastic waste.

Concerning the production of the material in question, the companies say that during the chemical recycling process of mixed plastic waste, used plastic is converted into pyrolysis oil in a high-temperature process. Like fossil-based raw materials, this oil is then used at the beginning of the chemical production chain, thus apparently saving conventional crude oil.

The recycled content is allocated to the chemical end products via a mass balance method. The companies claim that the product thus has the same high quality and performance as new products.

The bottom film and top film of the packaging each consist of several layers of different polymers and are produced by SÜDPACK. BASF supplies the necessary polyamide, while SABIC supplies the polyethylene. Both components are based on raw materials that have been recycled chemically from mixed plastic waste, which the companies argue was not possible before.

“The innovative packaging based on recycled raw materials is a perfect match for our new Gutfried organic chicken meat sausage,” says Maximilian Tönnies, managing director of the Zur Mühlen Gruppe.

“Our customers increasingly value sustainability. This of course applies to the production of our products, but also to aspects such as packaging.”

Christoph Gahn, responsible for BASF’s polyamide business in Europe, adds: “Plastic products made of chemically recycled material can be recycled again after use without impacting the quality”.

Meanwhile, the companies are keen to highlight that the high quality and food-conformity of the material are crucial when it is used in food packaging. “If the material and thus the oxygen barrier fails, the packaged product would no longer be optimally protected and in the worst case could spoil early,” explains Carolin Grimbacher, managing partner and head of research and development at SÜDPACK. The partnership has therefore identified product safety is a top priority, especially with sensitive foods such as meats.