CHARLOTTE, NC. – Packaging giant, Sealed Air (SEE) announced its partnership with ExxonMobil and Ahold Delhaize on April 14, which will facilitate the recycling of plastic material used in the food supply chain to create new food-grade packaging products. 

The companies are striving to develop a program that is slated to begin in the summer of 2022 and grow over time with a goal of cutting the amount of plastic in landfills by collecting, recycling and repurposing flexible plastics as new, food-grade packaging products. Previously, the challenge to achieving this goal was the absence of a circular economy that meets the hygienic requirements of the food industry. The companies plan to establish a validated circular system using advanced recycling technology and mass balance attribution. 

“SEE (Sealed Air) is leading the packaging industry by showing how high-performance packaging materials can be designed to be remade,” said Ted Doheny, SEE’s president and chief executive officer. “Advanced recycling is key to these valuable materials being collected and remanufactured. Our collaboration with ExxonMobil is opening new recycling possibilities and by partnering with leading retail group Ahold Delhaize USA,” he added. “We are paving the way for our industry to protect perishable foods while creating a low-carbon, circular economy.”

Brittni Furrow, vice president of health and sustainability with Ahold Delhaize USA said stakeholders are looking forward to learning about the process to advance the food industry’s efforts to minimize its environmental footprint.  

“We’re proud to work with SEE and ExxonMobil on this collaboration, which has the potential to radically change the way retailers and manufacturers leverage food-grade recycled plastics as a key means of keeping plastics out of landfills,” she said. 

David Hergenrether, vice president of polyethylene with ExxonMobil, said his company’s certified circular plastics, developed from its Exxtend technology, will be the basis for the program.  

“We are delighted to work with SEE and Ahold Delhaize USA on this important project,” he said. “This relationship is an example of the value chain collaborations needed to enable a more circular economy.”