In order to develop and implement a highly sustainable new packaging pouch for frozen prawns, Sabic, a company in the chemical industry, has joined forces with Estiko Packaging Solutions and Coldwater Prawns of Norway. The pouch is made from a multi-layer film produced by Estiko using a circular certified random polymer grade of Sabic PP QRYSTAL with an ocean bound plastic (OBP) content of around 60 percent. Contributing to the recovery and reuse of OBP, the innovative packaging solution reflects the partners’ overall commitment to sustainability and complies with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #14 for ‘Life Below Water’.
Abdullah Al-Otaibi, General Manager of Engineering Thermoplastics & Market Solutions for Petrochemicals at Sabic, states: “Recovering OBP waste that could otherwise end up in our waterways or oceans is a complex challenge and requires close collaboration with dedicated value chain partners. We are proud to present yet another successful joint project that demonstrates a feasible solution to contribute to this issue with a frozen foods packaging pouch that capitalizes on the sustainable benefits of our Trucircle program. With its high OBP content, this application helps all players reduce their carbon footprint and support the circularity of flexible packaging.”
OBP is abandoned or inadequately managed post-consumer plastic waste found up on riverbanks and in rivers to 50 kilometers inland from seashores. In an advanced recycling process, it is converted into an alternative feedstock which Sabic uses to produce certified circular polymers that can then be returned into the material stream for example for manufacturing high-quality flexible packaging products. Estiko Packaging Solutions, the corner stone of Estiko Group (Estonia) and leader in providing sustainable packaging materials in Northern Europe, uses a Sabic PP QRYSTAL random polymer from this Trucircle portfolio to produce a multi-layer flexible film for pouches used in the packaging of frozen prawns at Coldwater Prawns of Norway.
Taavi Tikk, R&D Manager at Estiko Packaging Solutions, says, “Sustainability is close to our heart. That’s why we at Estiko base all our activities on the aim of preserving a livable environment for future generations and provide responsible packaging solutions for our customers with no compromises in quality, food safety or convenience. In comprehensive trials on our existing film lines, we found that Sabic’s random PP material with OBP provided the right drop-in-replacement to meet the requirements of Coldwater Prawns of Norway AS, including puncture and tear resistance as well as high transparency for the clear part of the pouch that lets consumers see the packaged prawns.”
The packaging pouch aligns closely with the sustainable harvesting practices of Coldwater Prawns of Norway. In contrast to farmed king prawns, the company’s cold water prawns are caught from the deep waters of the Barents Sea, then cooked, peeled and individually quick frozen (IQF) for packaging and sales. Their slow growth gives them a juicier texture and a more intense, sweeter flavor.
Hege Furnes, COO at Coldwater Prawns of Norway, comments: “We are passionate about prawns, purity and the planet, and when it comes to the welfare of the planet, our motto is that ‘it can’t get pure enough’. The material choice for our new pouches meets with our care for the ecosystem on which our business relies. By using an OBP based packaging product, we are making an active contribution to prevent abandoned plastic litter from polluting the sea. In addition, the pouches are fully recyclable in existing material recovery systems for flexible packaging.”
The certified circular solution is mass balance certified under the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS chain of custody. This means that the material flow is controlled and tracked from the OBP to each pouch following a set of predefined and transparent rules. As a result, for every ton of certified circular polymer used in the production of the PP resin, Estiko Packaging Solutions can claim an equivalent amount of flexible film as certified circular. Coldwater Prawns of Norway AS, in turn, can document the enhanced sustainability towards consumers by indicating the responsibly sourced packaging content on the pouches.