USA – Sealed Air Corporation, the American packaging company has partnered Kuraray, a Japanese supplier of specialty materials to invest in production of plant-based food packaging.
The agreement will see Sealed Air increase its capacity at its facility in South Carolina to meet the growing demand for plant-based food packaging.
The deal also involves expanding and upgrading facilities in both South Carolina and Texas to meet increased demand for sustainable food packaging
Sealed Air has lined up U$24 million in investment at the site with production scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2020.
On the other hand, Kuraray is investing US$15 million to install plant-based high barrier resin production and supporting capabilities in Houston, Texas and the resin plant is expected to complete at the end of September 2019 and begin operations in early 2020.
Said to be the first of its kind in North America, the facility will produce materials made from Plantic™ plant-based resin and post-consumer plastic.
The South Carolina facility is located in Simpsonville with over 1,000 employees and boasts of 1.4 million square feet of operations including packaging materials and systems for food and consumer products.
“This collaborative effort with Kuraray expands our ability to deliver innovative, sustainable food packaging solutions that leave our world, environment and communities better than we found them,” said Ted Doheny, Sealed Air President and CEO.
“This investment also helps us reach our commitment to deliver 100% recyclable or reusable packaging offerings, and 50% average recycled content across all packaging solutions by 2025.”
The development builds on the agreement made last year between Sealed Air and Kuraray America, Inc. to offer Plantic materials to package perishable foods such as poultry, beef and seafood in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
As part of the collaboration, Sealed Air will continue to serve customers in North America by importing materials from Plantic Australia.
The investment expands Sealed Air’s portfolio of sustainable solutions with Plantic’s bio-based materials, thus addressing food waste as well as the need for sustainable packaging.
“Kuraray continues to pioneer proprietary technology to develop new fields of business, grow globally and improve the environment,” said Katsumasa Yamaguchi, General Manager of the Global EVAL Division.
“We are looking forward to this collaborative investment with Sealed Air which allows us to produce and offer a high-performing plant-based packaging option to the food industry on a much larger scale.”