SABIC & CJ CheilJedang collaborate on world-first ready-to-eat rice packaging bowls made with 25% certified renewable PP in Korea

SABIC & CJ CheilJedang collaborate on world-first ready-to-eat rice packaging bowls made with 25% certified renewable PP in Korea

SABIC, a global leader in the chemicals industry, has announced that a food-contact grade of its TRUCIRCLE portfolio of certified renewable polypropylene (PP) resins is used in the production of Hetbahn instant white rice packaging bowls by CJ CheilJedang, a South Korea-based global food company, said the company.

The rigid bowls are the first of their kind using certified renewable PP in a ready-to-eat-rice packaging in Asia Pacific and align with CJ’s strong ‘Nature to Nature’ sustainability roadmap.

Mohammed Al-Zahrani, Vice President of SABIC’s Polypropylene Business, comments: “Food brands around the world are increasingly looking for materials that will help them reduce their carbon footprint without compromising the performance, convenience and food safety of their packaging. We are very pleased about this opportunity to demonstrate SABIC’s vast expertise in sustainable PP resins for rigid food containers. Our certified renewable grade from our TRUCIRCLE portfolio used in CJ’s Hetbahn rice bowls meet the food-contact regulations, and offers the same ease of processing and high end-use quality as competitive all-virgin polymers.”

The Hetbahn brand, which is one of the top brands in cooked rice and now expanding its product portfolio to include porridge, frozen rice, cooked rice with soup etc., was originally launched in 1996 and means freshly harvested and cooked rice and has changed consumers’ perception of Korean rice meal culture. The rice grain is polished in a strict raw material process, cooked the same day and packed in a sterile environment so that the delicious taste of the rice can be preserved.

The rice bowls are manufactured by sheet extrusion and subsequent thermoforming. The PP polymer from SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio has a certified renewable content of 25% and provides the critical attributes of dimensional stability and heat resistance required when microwaving the rice directly in the cup. In addition to this, the used bowls can be returned into the rigid PP recycling stream to recover their material value and enable a more circular packaging industry.

CJ has already started to introduce the new Hetbahn rice bowls in E-Mart stores, one of the largest grocery chains in South Korea.

Grace Kim, SVP of Global Packaging R&D at CJ, adds: “We are excited to launch our very first ISCC PLUS certified food packaging with renewable PP from SABIC. It marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and minimize the use of fossil based feedstock in our packaging. Maintaining high standards of quality and safety is a top priority for our company while continuously delivering more environmentally friendly and sustainable packaging. We hope our initiative will inspire the global market by demonstrating the possibilities of renewable circular materials and creating the momentum toward achieving a circular economy.”

SABIC’s renewable polymers are derived from bio-based, second-generation sources not competing with food or feed production. They are manufactured in line with the mass balance accounting recommendations of the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS program, which defines a set of transparent rules for tracking the material flow across complex supply chains from the feedstock to final applications.

The resulting certified renewable compounds form part of the SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio and services, which also comprise design for recyclability, mechanically recycled products, certified circular polymers and closed loop initiatives to recycle plastic back into high quality applications and help prevent valuable used plastics from becoming waste.

We remind, SABIC last month launched a new portfolio of 10 LNP Elcrin copolymer resins that it said can reduce carbon footprint while delivering desirable performance properties and aesthetics. The company claims that, unlike competitive impact-modified polycarbonate resins containing PCR content, these new resins deliver high performance across the board. Depending on the grade, they may provide low-temperature ductility, chemical and weathering resistance, good flow for easy processing, transparency, a broad color space, UV stability and thin-wall flame retardance (FR) meeting the UL94 V-0 rating at 0.6mm.

ALPLA expands into Morocco partnering with Diana Holding

ALPLA expands into Morocco partnering with Diana Holding

ALPLA Group announced that it has expanded its presence in North Africa by entering the Moroccan market, said the company.

The company also announced that it has purchased a majority share in Atlantic Packaging and founded the joint venture (JV) ALPLA Morroco with previous owner Diana Holding.

The move will allow the company to offer its expertise and experience to the production on PET preforms for the regional markets in Maghreb and Western Africa. The JV was signed by the contracting parties in Aug 2023 and has been approved by local antitrust authorities. Terms and conditions of the deal were not disclosed.

We remind, ALPLA is focusing on the circular economy: the global packaging specialist invests more than 50 million euros annually in recycling and uses state-of-the-art technologies to produce recycled material. With an installed and projected output capacity of 350,000 tonnes per year, the company is one of the world’s leading plastics recyclers. Analyses performed by the life cycle assessment specialist c7-consult now confirm efficient production at a total of four additional sites in Mexico and Germany. There, ALPLArecycling produces rPET and rHDPE, which produces up to 87 per cent fewer carbon emissions than virgin materials.

TotalEnergies acquires minority stake in Xlinks Morocco-UK power project

TotalEnergies acquires minority stake in Xlinks Morocco-UK power project

TotalEnergies has invested GBP 20 M to acquire a minority stake in Xlinks First Limited, a company founded in 2019 in the UK, joining fellow investors Octopus Energy and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), said the company.

Xlinks plans to develop a giant renewable project in Morocco (combining solar and wind) to supply green electricity to the UK through the installation of high-voltage direct current (HDVC) subsea cables, coupled with a large battery energy storage. Upon completion, the project is expected to deliver enough renewable, reliable and affordable electricity to power over 7 M British homes.

We remind, TotalEnergies has reported net income of $6.67bn (€6.33bn) in the third quarter of 2023, a marginal 1% increase compared with $6.62bn in the same period a year ago, said the company. In the July–September quarter of 2023, the French oil and gas company reported $54.41bn in revenue from sales, a 16% decline from $64.92bn in Q3 2022.

TotalEnergies is a global multi-energy company that produces and markets energies: oil and biofuels, natural gas and green gases, renewables and electricity. Our more than 100,000 employees are committed to energy that is ever more affordable, more sustainable, more reliable and accessible to as many people as possible. Active in nearly 130 countries, TotalEnergies puts sustainable development in all its dimensions at the heart of its projects and operations to contribute to the well-being of people.

SK Geo Centric optimizes plastic recycling tech with US company

SK Geo Centric optimizes plastic recycling tech with US company

MRC-- SK Geo Centric Co., a South Korean energy and chemical company, is accelerating technical negotiations to build the world's first plastic recycling complex, the Ulsan Advanced Recycling Cluster (ARC), said Kedglobal.

SK Geo Centric announced on Friday that 12 of its engineers and researchers recently completed modifications and technical consultations at PureCycle Technology's plastic recycling plant in Ohio, optimizing the recycling process for around two months from January this year.

PureCycle is a company that uses chemical recycling technology to extract high-purity recycled polypropylene from waste plastic, removing contaminants, odors and colors.

In October last year, the two companies signed a joint venture agreement and are working toward starting construction of the recycling plant in Ulsan within the year.

Since January, engineers from both companies have spent over 1,000 hours discussing specific technologies through online and offline meetings, conducting various tests to optimize the process for Korean waste plastics.

We remind, SK Geo Centric, a subsidiary of South Korea's top refiner SK Innovation Co., will join hands with a global company to build a super-large waste plastic recycling plant in Ulsan, a coastal area of South Gyeongsang Province.

Lotte Fine to invest to up green materials sales by 6 times

Lotte Fine to invest to up green materials sales by 6 times

Lotte Fine Chemical Co., South Korea’s largest ammonia producer, will spend a total of 129 billion won ($99 million) in an aim to become the world’s largest food and pharmaceutical materials producer and bump up its green materials sales by six times by 2030 to outdistance Chinese rivals, said the company.

The subsidiary of Lotte Chemical Corp. said on Thursday that its board of directors late last month approved a new plan to inject 79 billion won to jack up the production capacity of cellulose ethers widely used in manufacturing foods and pharmaceutical drugs to 6,000 tons a year.

The company originally planned to invest 39 billion won to expand the capacity to 3,000 tons.

Once the addition of new cellulose derivative production lines is completed by 2025 under the new plan, the Korean fine chemical company will boast the world’s largest production capacity of food and pharmaceutical chemical materials.

The US-based International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) is currently the world’s No. 1 in the market, followed by Lotte Fine Chemical and Japan’s Shin-Etsu Chemical Co.

We remind, Lotte Chemical Corp. has sold its entire stakes in joint ventures with Chinese partners as the Korean company faces a supply glut amid weak demand in the world’s second-largest economy.