Sealed Air is investing in capacity at its Simpsonville, South Carolina facility to produce plant-based food packaging. The facility will be the first in North America to produce materials made from Plantic, a plant-based resin and post-consumer plastic.
In June 2018, Sealed Air and Kuraray America, a specialty materials company with headquarters in Japan, entered an agreement to offer Plantic materials to package perishable foods such as poultry, beef and seafood in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Sealed Air's planned capital investment of $24 million is underway and production is scheduled to begin in 2020. Kuraray will also invest $15 million to install plant-based high barrier resin production and supporting capabilities in Houston.
“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,” says Ted Doheny, Sealed Air President and CEO. “This investment also helps us reach our commitment to deliver 100 percent recyclable or reusable packaging offerings, and 50 percent average recycled content across all packaging solutions by 2025.”
Sealed Air and Kuraray will continue to serve customers in North America by importing materials from Plantic Australia. The investment positions both companies for strategic growth in the Americas as demand for sustainable materials continues to increase.
“Kuraray continues to pioneer proprietary technology to develop new fields of business, grow globally and improve the environment,” says 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.”