Together, BASF SE Ludwigshafen, Germany, and StePac Ltd,Tefen, Israel, are developing the next generation of environmentally friendly packaging for the fresh produce industry. By giving StePac access to Ultramid Cycled, a polyamide 6 that has undergone chemical recycling, BASF will provide its partner more freedom to push contact-sensitive packaging shapes to a more environmentally friendly level within the circular economy. They specialize in creating cutting-edge functional packaging solutions, and are pioneers in using chemically recovered plastics to package perishable foods that are still fresh. In order to use chemically recycled polyamide 6 in its flexible, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) solutions, the company recently received REDcert2 certification.
Their two brands, Xgo and Xtend, are based on MAP technology with integrated humidity control that efficiently slows respiration inside the packaging, delays the aging processes, inhibits microbial decay, and maintains the quality and nutritional value of the product during extended storage and long-haul shipments. 30% of the packaging will be made up of Ultramid Ccycled, with the possibility of integrating it at a larger percentage.
“This cooperation will help strike a balance between making plastic packaging that is as environmentally benign as possible and keeping fresh fruit longer through more wise use of lean plastic films,” said Gary Ward, business development manager at StePac.
Given that worldwide food waste accounts for around 8% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, these improved packaging designs will continue to play a vital role in reducing food waste.
BASF has been pioneering the recycling of plastic waste through ChemCycling. Plastic trash that would have been landfilled or utilized for energy recovery is largely recycled chemically. It enhances mechanical recycling and hastens a circular economy by producing recycled plastic fit for human use.
In a thermochemical process, our partners receive recovered feedstock from these end-of-life plastics, which is subsequently fed into the BASF Verbund, according to Dr. Dominik Winter, vice president of BASF’s European polyamides business. The raw material can be linked to certain products, like Ultramid Ccycled, using a mass balance approach.
This promotes circularity and aids in the replacement of fossil raw materials. The range of plastics that can be recycled for fresh fruit packaging is expanded since chemically recycled plastics are just as safe and high-quality as virgin material.