SEE (NYSE: SEE), ExxonMobil, and Ahold Delhaize USA announced today their collaboration on an advanced recycling initiative, the first of its kind in the U.S. The project recycles flexible plastics from the food supply chain and remakes them into new, certified circular food-grade packaging. The initiative is expected to begin this summer and scale over time.
“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,” said Brittni Furrow, VP, Health & Sustainability, Ahold Delhaize USA. “We’re eager to learn from this work and apply the learnings to advance our own plastics ambitions, but also advance these efforts broadly, helping to ensure a better tomorrow for our planet.”
A critical challenge facing the food industry is driving a circular economy for plastics using packaging materials that have strict hygiene and performance requirements for food protection and distribution. Recovering these essential packaging materials requires innovative recycling solutions beyond traditional mechanical recycling.
The collaboration between SEE, ExxonMobil, and Ahold Delhaize USA will help increase the use of recycled content by validating the technical and economic viability of a certified circular system based on advanced recycling technology and mass balance attribution. Flexible plastics will be designed to be collected, recycled, and repurposed into new food packaging. The project will help keep used flexible plastics out of landfills, increase the number of times essential plastics can be recycled, and ensure the safety and quality of packaged foods.
“SEE is leading the packaging industry by showing how high-performance packaging materials can be designed to be remade. Advanced recycling is key to these valuable materials being collected and remanufactured,” said Ted Doheny, SEE President and CEO. “Our collaboration with ExxonMobil is opening new recycling possibilities and by partnering with leading retail group Ahold Delhaize USA, we are paving the way for our industry to protect perishable foods while creating a low-carbon, circular economy.”
“We are delighted to work with SEE and Ahold Delhaize USA on this important project,” said David Hergenrether, Vice President, Polyethylene, ExxonMobil. “This relationship is an example of the value chain collaborations needed to enable a more circular economy. We are excited that certified circular plastics from our Exxtend™ technology for advanced recycling will play an important role.”