Berry Global and Peel Plastics Products have collaborated to create a new line of pet food flexible packaging that incorporates certified circular plastic.

This achievement earned the partners a Gold Award for Sustainability from the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) in its 2024 Achievement Awards on 20 March this year.

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The packaging, designed for pet food giant Hill’s Pet Nutrition, utilises International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS-certified circular plastic.

This material is derived from hard-to-recycle plastics such as food pouches and snack wrappers using ExxonMobil’s Exxtend advanced recycling technology.

Reduced reliance on virgin plastic

The new packaging represents a significant step towards a more circular economy for plastics.

Traditionally, pet food packaging has relied heavily on virgin plastic resin.

Advanced recycling allows manufacturers to capture value from plastic waste that would otherwise be unrecycled and transform it into high-quality packaging material.

Meeting stringent requirements

One of the key benefits of this technology is that the resulting certified circular polymers possess properties identical to those of virgin plastic.

This is crucial for pet food packaging, which faces stringent requirements in terms of organoleptic properties (smell and taste), barrier function, and machinability.

These factors have historically limited the use of recycled content in pet food packaging.

Enabling a circular economy in pet care

The innovation allows pet food companies such as Hill’s to actively participate in a circular economy.

By incorporating certified circular plastic, it can reduce its dependence on virgin plastic and contribute to a more sustainable future.

“This new pet food flexible packaging portfolio is a perfect example of how collaboration across the value chain can help advance a circular economy,” said Wesley Porter, business development director for Berry Global’s Flexibles Division.

“The combination of advanced recycling and downstream supply chain and manufacturing expertise allowed us to deliver a more sustainable flexible packaging solution to the market compared to packaging made with 100% virgin resin.”