Investments are being made by Sealed Air Corporation at its Simpsonville, S.C. facility for production of plant-based food packaging. This stands to be the first such facility in North America to produce materials made from Plantic plant-based resin and post-consumer plastic. Simpsonville is among the world’s largest packaging plants with over 1,000 employees and 1.4 million square feet of operations. Packaging materials and systems for food and consumer products are currently manufactured at this location.
Sealed Air and Kuraray America, Inc. (Kuraray) is a specialty materials company headquartered in Japan which entered into an agreement in June 2018 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 under progress and production is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2020. To back this work, Kuraray is investing approximately $15 million for installation of plant-based high barrier resin production. It also supports capabilities in Houston, Texas. Kuraray’s resin plant is likely to be completed towards the end of September 2019 and will begin operating in early 2020.
Ted Doheny, Sealed Air President and CEO says: “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. 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.”
With upgradation in both the facilities, 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 the demand for sustainable materials continues to increase.
Katsumasa Yamaguchi, General Manager of the Global EVAL Division, commented: “Kuraray continues to pioneer proprietary technology to develop new fields of business, grow globally and improve the environment. 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.”