With the launch of its new Ocean Action label, UPM Raflatac has become the first label manufacturer to use Sabic’s certified circular polypropylene based on advanced recycled ocean bound plastic (OBP).
The new label, the result of a value chain project with partners from across the globe, offers customers seeking a more sustainable packing solution an option to to include the label in that choice. “These labels containing ocean bound plastic connect with our Trucircle program of circular solutions designed to help reduce plastic waste, mitigate fossil depletion and protect our planet,” said Lada Kurelec, General Manager PP, PET, PS, PVC, PU & Elastomers Businesses for Petrochemicals at Sabic.
They are available as White and Clear Top Coated PP films with RP37, RF37, and RP74 adhesives and PET 23 PCR and glassine liners.
Ocean bound plastic is abandoned plastic waste found in areas up to 50 km inland from waterways that may eventually be washed into the ocean by rainfall, rivers or tides. Zero Plastic Oceans, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to addressing plastic pollution issues, has estimated that OBP from uncontrolled waste disposal accounts for 80 percent of marine plastic litter.
The OBP used in the project is recovered by local partners of HHI, a Malaysia based recycling company and the first in the world to receive Ocean Bound Plastic OBP certification co-developed by NGO Zero Plastic Oceans and Control Union. HHI collects ocean plastics, which it then converts into a pyrolysis oil by using advanced recycling. The company exports more than 70% of its output to customers in 35 countries worldwide. Sabic uses this oil as an alternative feedstock to produce certified circular Sabic PP polymer for further processing to film by film manufacturer Taghleef. Then, UPM Raflatac produces the label material.
The plastic waste used in the process value chain of making Ocean Action label material is certified under the Zero Plastics Oceans program, and the final label material under ISCC PLUS. This means that the material flow is controlled and tracked from the ocean bound plastic to the final packaging following a set of predefined and transparent rules.
The PP material derived from feedstock from ocean-bound plastic provided by Sabic has the same processing characteristics as conventional materials. As a result, the switch to the OBP material solution required no changes to the film and label material manufacturing processes.
”The new innovative Ocean Action label material is the latest step in our beyond fossils journey. It does not only help prevent the plastic waste from ending up in the oceans but also offers brand owners the possibility to meet their recycled content targets for packaging. The Ocean Action label material is an easy-to-use drop-in solution created especially for food and cosmetics end-uses as it has exactly the same performance as the current fossil-based labels,” said Eliisa Laurikainen, Business Development Manager at UPM Raflatac.