SABIC and Scientex are working together to produce flexible packaging for a Malaysian noodles brand by chemically recycling ‘ocean-bound’ plastic waste (OBP) to use as a feedstock in the production of polypropylene.

The OBP – thought to be discarded up to 50km inland and washed into the ocean by rainfall, rivers, and tides – is set to be converted into pyrolysis oil. This will then become an alternative feedstock for SABIC to produce polypropylene, which will be processed in turn to create a BOPP film for Scientex to manufacture and print the noodle packs.

Forming part of the company’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio, SABIC’s propylene is said to contain a mass balance-accounted 30% of OBP while still performing to the same standard as a virgin, fossil-based polypropylene polymer. It is reportedly compatible with the noodles’ existing packaging design without needing to alter assets and processes.

“We are proud to offer our customers circular solutions to reduce plastic waste that could otherwise end up in our rivers and oceans,” says Abdullah Al Otaibi, general manager of Engineering Thermoplastic & Market Solutions Business Unit for Petrochemicals at SABIC. “This flexible food packaging containing OBP connects with our TRUCIRCLE program of circular solutions designed to help protect our planet.”

“Thanks to this highly efficient collaboration with SABIC, we are able to bring the world’s first advance recycled flexible PP food packaging to the Asian market, using circular OBP,” adds Paul Ng Kok Leong, head of BOPP Film Division at Scientex Group. “This successful initiative demonstrates the feasibility of tackling the plastic waste issue through dedicated value chain collaborations and sets a milestone in shaping a circular plastics economy in Malaysia and across South East Asia.”

SABIC previously worked alongside HHI and Taghleef Industries in a collaboration with UPM Raflatac to incorporate certified ocean-bound plastic waste into its Ocean Action labels using a mass balance approach.

In another effort to cut down on ocean pollution, Greiner Packaging and Plastic Bank have extended their cooperation to encourage Ocean Stewards to collect plastic waste from shorelines and take it to designated collection points to be returned to the global supply chain.