dispatches from K Show 2013

Green PE growing in food packaging - Braskem

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pier Paolo Pesce talks to FPD at K 2013
Pier Paolo Pesce talks to FPD at K 2013

Related tags: Food packaging, Low density polyethylene, Polyethylene, Linear low-density polyethylene

Green polyethylene (PE) is growing with Tetra Pak, General Mills and Danone adopting the technology but is not yet at full capacity, according to Braskem.

The firm is trying to develop green PE in Oceania but General Mills’ Cascadian Farms breakfast cereal bags and Odwalla’s juice bottles in the US, Danone in Brazil and McCain in Europe are using the product.

At K Show 2013 in Dusseldorf, Braskem said that the food packaging industry is transforming itself and adapting as the world is changing.

Green PE potential

Pier Paolo Pesce, marketing at Braskem, told FoodProductionDaily.com that food packaging is the biggest market segment at about 50%, mainly in Brazil and Latin America due to polyethylene plants in the region.

The mostly developed market segment for green PE is cosmetics, we do have a lot of examples for cosmetics, I think that they have been doing the transition in a faster way than the food chain,” ​said Pesce.

“But we believe the food market is an important market for green PE. So, we think the big companies will start to make the transition in the near future and I will believe more and more companies, especially regional brands in Europe and the US will start to use our green PE.”

He added that the firm has some companies in the pipeline and discussions are ongoing.

Braskem entered into a supply agreement, which begins in first quarter 2014, with Tetra Pak for low density polyethylene​ (LDPE) produced from renewable sugar cane.

“We do understand that there is a need for more individual sizes and things that last longer, so people want to buy fresh things in the supermarkets so the food packaging industry has to somehow transform itself to being able to support with fresh products in unit sizes packaging,” ​he said.

“We as a resin production industry, we have to try to reach and offer to our clients the best options, the best technological options for resin. We are trying to develop ourselves technologically to make sure that our clients can be a part of this transformation for the food packaging industry.”

USA investment

Braskem added that it was investing Brazilian Real $50m (US$23m) to expand its annual production capacity of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) by 120 kton.

100 kton will be for Flexus, the brand under which metallocene-based polyethylenes are sold and will start operations in the first half of 2015.

Braskem Flexus is used in packaging that requires increased resistance, gloss, transparency and sealing properties that targets manufacturers of specialty, technical reels and industrial films.

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