US-based plastic packaging company Berry Global is investing more than $110m in expanding its North American capacity to meet the demand for more sustainable foodservice packaging options.
The investment is part of the company’s long-term strategic growth commitments.
Berry intends to strengthen its proprietary polypropylene (PP) thermoforming capabilities to produce drinking cups and lids with a clear design.
PP is widely used for various applications in quick-service restaurants, coffee shops, convenience stores and in the foodservice and other markets.
According to Berry, the material has a lower carbon footprint and consumes less energy and water compared with polyethylene terephthalate.
The capacity expansion will also help the company produce clear cups and lids containing post-consumer resin and recyclable materials.
Berry Global North America consumer packaging president Bill Norman said: “Foodservice brands are moving to meet their own sustainability goals and polypropylene provides one of the lowest impact substrate options to help them get there.
“With Berry’s long record of innovation in foodservice packaging and this expanded capacity, we will deliver on the need to bring greater circularity to the disposable beverage cup market.”
Expected to become operational next year, the North American expansion will generate 200 jobs at Berry’s facilities.
The initiative is in line with the company’s efforts to enhance PP recycling at kerbsides.
As part of this commitment, Berry has also joined The Recycling Partnership’s Polypropylene Recycling to help make PP more widely recyclable.
The 2019 US Post-Consumer Plastic Recycling Data Dashboard data found that PP cups and containers were the third most widely-recycled plastic at kerbsides by consumers.
Last month, Berry Global invested in a recycling facility in Leamington Spa, UK, which will produce post-consumer recycled PP for packaging applications.
The PP manufactured at the facility is certified by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).