ExxonMobil has completed the first commercial sale of its certified circular polymers, made using its Exxtend technology for the advanced recycling of plastic waste, to Berry Global, which will use the polymers to manufacture containers of food-grade packaging based on a mass balance approach.

According to ExxonMobil, its Exxtend advanced recycling technology produces commercial values of certified polymers for food applications, with more than 4 million pounds of plastic waste processed at its advanced recycling facility in Baytown, Texas, where operations started in 2021.

ExxonMobil claims that its Exxtend technology helps to expand the range of materials that can be recycled while maintaining the performance of products over multiple recycling loops. The company adds that the product quality and performance of the certified circular polymers are identical to polymers produced from virgin raw materials.

The company obtained certifications through the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification Plus (ISCC PLUS) for “several” of its facilities, including Baytown.

Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company, comments: “We are scaling up our advanced recycling capabilities around the world to manufacture more circular products for our customers.

“Our Exxtend technology helps us meet the growing demand for certified circular polymers, particularly in food contact applications where plastic products provide key sustainability benefits.”

Tarun Manroa, chief strategy officer at Berry Global, adds: “We have ambitious sustainable packaging goals that include achieving 30 percent circular content across our fast-moving consumer goods packaging by 2030.

“Advanced recycling can help our customers meet their sustainability goals and accelerate the move to a more circular economy. Collaboration across the value chain is critical to achieving this.”

Earlier this year, TotalEnergies announced that it would supply Berry Global with polymers obtained through the advanced recycling of post-consumer waste, also certified as circular by ISCC PLUS. Berry apparently intends to use these Circular Polymers in food, beverage, and healthcare packaging.

ExxonMobil is planning to increase certified circular polymer capacity by 1 billion pounds, which is approximately 500,000 metric tonnes, per year by 2026. With the expansion of the Baytown facility expected to be complete later this year, it will reportedly be among North America’s largest advanced plastic waste recycling facilities, with the capacity to recycle 30,000 metric tonnes of plastic waste annually.