Sabic is forging ahead with the growth of its portfolio of Trucircle circular materials and technologies. The company has developed a new polypropylene impact copolymer for frozen food packaging that uses feedstock made from recycling used, mixed plastic. Following last year’s successful pilot launch in Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, this certified circular polypropylene is now being used by Unilever to launch the “world’s first” tub within the ice cream industry that contains recycled plastic.
Sabic’s material uses chemically recycled post-consumer mixed plastic as feedstock. The technology breaks the waste plastic down into its molecular building blocks, which are then used to create recyclable virgin plastics suitable for food packaging.
Over 7 million tubs made with recycled plastic and containing Unilever’s Magnum ice cream will be rolled out across Europe in 2020. The new packaging will be launched globally from 2021 onwards.
Magnum is the first brand to use recycled plastic within the ice cream industry. The new Magnum tubs are the result of a close collaborative effort between Unilever and Sabic.
By the end of 2020, Magnum will use an estimated 160,000 kilograms of certified recycled plastic material.
With more in-home consumption due to COVID-19, the introduction of these tubs and their impact on the environment becomes extra relevant as the world prepares for a new future.
Julien Barraux, Global Magnum Vice President, said that with this new approach the company hopes to lead the food and refreshment industry towards a more sustainable future, paving the way towards a circular economy. All Magnum packaging will soon be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable and made with post-consumer recycled material, he added.
The move is part of Unilever’s wider global packaging commitment to halve the company’s use of virgin plastic, by reducing its absolute use of plastic packaging by more than 100,000 tonnes and accelerating its use of recycled plastic by 2025.
Sabic’s Trucircle solutions include certified circular polymers from the chemical recycling of used, mixed plastic; certified renewable polymers from bio-based feedstock and mechanically recycled polymers. Sabic’s certified polymers are based on a mass balance approach and are ISCC PLUS certified.