BASF and StePac Create Sustainable Packaging For Fresh Food.

  • Dec. 26, 2022
BASF and StePac Create Sustainable Packaging For Fresh Food.

BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany) and StePac Ltd. (Tefen, Israel) have teamed forces to develop the next generation of environmentally friendly packaging for the fresh produce industry. By supplying Ultramid® CcycledTM, a polyamide 6 that has been chemically recycled, to StePac, BASF will enable its partner to enhance contact-sensitive packaging shapes to a more sustainable level within the circular economy.

StePac is a pioneer in the use of chemically regenerated plastics for the packaging of perishable fresh foods. Recent REDcert2 certification allows the business to include recycled polyamide 6 into its flexible modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) solutions. Their two brands, XgoTM and Xtend®, are based on MAP technology with built-in humidity control that effectively slows respiration inside the packaging, delays the aging processes, inhibits microbial decay, and preserves the quality and nutritional value of the produce during prolonged storage and long-distance transport. Ultramid Ccycled will include 30% recycled the packaging material, with potential for a larger proportion of integration.

"This cooperation will assist in striking a balance between manufacturing plastic packaging that is as environmentally benign as possible and extending the shelf life of fresh fruit via the sensible use of thin plastic films," said Gary Ward, Business Development Manager of StePac. These improved packaging styles will continue to play a vital role in decreasing food waste, a crucial undertaking given that worldwide food waste accounts for about 8% of human greenhouse gas emissions.

BASF has broken new ground in the recycling of plastic waste with ChemCyclingTM. Chemical recycling includes largely plastic waste that would have otherwise been utilized for energy recovery or disposed of in landfills. It complements mechanical recycling and accelerates a circular economy by producing recycled plastic that is safe for human use. "Our partners acquire recycled feedstock from these end-of-life plastics via a thermochemical process, which is subsequently fed into the BASF Verbund. The raw material may be linked to particular products, such as Ultramid Ccycled, using a mass balance technique, as Dr. Dominik Winter, Vice President of BASF's European polyamides business, indicated. "This helps replace fossil raw materials and is a significant step toward circularity. As chemically recycled polymers possess the same quality and safety as virgin plastics, the range of plastics that may be recycled for packaging fresh products is expanded."

Jardin Exotics, S.A., a Colombian exporter of passion fruit, will be the first to employ the innovative packaging brand XgoTM CircularTM. Presented as a film for horizontal form-fill-seal, the MAP qualities of the packaging will halt the ripening process and protect the fruit's freshness over the lengthy sea trip from Colombia to Europe. In addition to eliminating the requirement for repackaging upon arrival, packing at the source in the final retail package format reduces the necessity for packing at the destination. The combination of the film's produce-specific modified environment features and its high water vapor transfer rate is what makes this film's performance exceptional for passion fruit.