US packaging company Sealed Air and Kuraray America have collaborated for a project to manufacture plant-based food packaging.
Sealed Air is investing $24m at its Simpsonville plant in South Carolina that will use Kuraray’s Plantic brand plant-based resin and post-consumer plastic to produce food packaging.
The expansion complements Sealed Air’s agreement signed in June with Kuraray America to offer Plantic materials for packing perishable foods such as poultry, beef and seafood in the US, Canada, and Mexico.
With production scheduled to commence in the second quarter of next year, the plant will become the first across North America to manufacture materials made from Plantic plant-based resin and post-consumer plastic.
Kuraray is in the process of installing plant-based high barrier resin production and supporting capabilities at its Houston plant in Texas with an investment of approximately $15m to support Sealed Air’s expansion.
The Houston plant is expected to complete in September with operations scheduled to begin early next year.
Sealed Air president and CEO Ted Doheny said: “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.”
Under the agreement, the investment is expected to strengthen the presence of both companies for strategic growth in the Americas.
The agreement will also allow Sealed Air to import materials from Plantic Australia to serve customers in North America.