Q2: What are the environmental challenges in packaging that your entry addresses, and what impact do you hope it will make?
Reducing the material’s environmental impact and increasing recyclability are two key themes that we address. The TF-BOPE film based on SABIC LLDPE BX202 grade has a thickness of only 20 micrometers. This thin gauge provides a potential packaging material reduction of approximately 35-50% compared to incumbent blown PE film. The reduced thickness of the packaging together with the smaller clamp section the solution minimizes environmental impact and supports brand owners and retailers who are aiming to reduce their packaging material consumption and related tax penalties. The new packaging solution is also 100% recyclable and fits to existing mono-PE recycling streams.
TF-BOPE has the potential to be used in new applications and markets, which support the circular economy, where mono material solutions are required to enhance recyclability. TF-BOPE can replace multi material laminates into a mono-PE structure. SABIC’s PE material for TF -BOPE film is part of the “Design for Recyclability” under TRUCIRCLE™ solutions and supports easy and full recyclability through enabling mono-PE material structures in multilayer flexible packaging, aiming to minimize waste.
Q3: I’d like to ask you about the broader picture beyond your successful entry. ‘Sustainability’ in packaging is multi-dimensional – both in terms of objectives and challenges. Could you comment on the most important roadblocks you identify from your position in the value chain, and the kinds of solutions you would like to see addressing them (e.g. areas of technological innovation, collaboration, regulation)?
Sustainability a is priority in the value chain of the packaging industry today. Both SABIC and Syntegon as suppliers to the packaging value chain demonstrate the value of collaboration with this submitted innovative packaging solution. To tackle tomorrow’s challenges, stakeholders across the supply chain need to work together to bring new solutions to life as sustainability cannot be achieved single-handedly.
We also believe that in order to support the industry in becoming more sustainable, future packaging solution development should more often incorporate an analysis of the life cycle impacts of the new design compared with alternatives. Such an analysis might assess the packed product to packaging weight ratio, the recyclability rating, the carbon and water consumption footprints, etc. These factors should be considered alongside ensuring the quality of the packaged product is maintained and food spillage is prevented and should be reflected in clearly aligned regulation worldwide (not the case today).
This BOPE film can also be available as a certified circular polymer from SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE™ portfolio. Advanced (or chemical) recycling takes mixed used plastic that is challenging to recycle via traditional routes and converts it into new feedstock to manufacture virgin polymers. It’s crucial that we move from a linear to a circular economy, and advanced recycling can enable our industry to do this as well as sophisticated recycling streams across the globe.
Our aim for the future is that plastics should never end up in the environment or in landfill and instead are reused and remade into new products. We are on a journey towards creating a circular economy for plastics – but there is more that needs to be done across the value chain before we can achieve this. We need to accelerate the conversation about the changes we need to make to become a circular global society for the good of people and the planet. We have to make steps to transform our businesses and processes whilst we define our circular economy – and we need to continue to collaborate, innovate and engineer new technologies to drive the circular model, whilst regulations and frameworks start to take shape. We need to take these first steps together today to drive the change, so we can start to use our finite resources wisely.