Sabic and UPM Raflatac Launch Label Material Made from Certified Circular Ocean Bound Plastic

UPM Raflatac’s new Ocean Action label is the first made using SABIC’s certified circular polyolefins for packaging label applications. The value chain collaboration with UPM Raflatac demonstrates how ocean bound plastic can be brought back into a circular material stream for conversion into high quality packaging labels. Recovered ocean bound plastic (OBP) that has the potential to end up in our rivers and oceans is certified by the Zero Plastic Oceans and Control Union.

SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, has joined an innovative project with value chain partners to help UPM Raflatac launch the world’s first packaging label materials made from SABIC® certified circular polypropylene (PP) based on advanced recycled ocean bound plastic (OBP). The label materials are marketed under the UPM Raflatac Ocean Action trademark.

Ocean bound plastic is abandoned plastic waste found in areas up to 50 kilometers inland from waterways that may eventually be washed into the ocean by rainfall, rivers or tides. Zero Plastic Oceans, a non-governmental organization dedicated to addressing plastic pollution issues, has estimated that OBP from uncontrolled waste disposal accounts for 80% of marine plastic litter.

The new Ocean Action label material not only helps prevent 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.

The OBP used in the project is recovered by local partners of HHI, a Malaysia based recycling company. The sustainable sourcing, proper collection and management of the OBP is certified by Zero Plastic Oceans and Control Union. HHI converts OBP into a pyrolysis oil by using advanced recycling, and SABIC uses this oil as an alternative feedstock to produce certified circular SABIC PP polymer for further processing to film by 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 Ocean Action label material is available as White and Clear Top Coated PP films with RP37, RF37, and RP74 adhesives and PET 23 PCR and glassine liners. These label materials are a perfect fit for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), such as household goods, personal care, packaged foods, and beverages. Since the certified circular PP from SABIC performs the same way as comparable fossil-based virgin PP, the switch to the OBP material solution required no changes to the film and label material manufacturing processes.

SABIC’s certified circular polymers form part of the company’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio and services for circular solutions. The offering also includes design for recyclability, mechanically recycled products, certified renewable polymers from bio-based feedstock and closed loop initiatives to recycle plastic back into high quality applications and help prevent valuable used plastics from becoming waste. For more information, visit www.upmraflatac.com and www.ti-films.com

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