SABIC, a global company in the chemical industry, announced that Delica AG has introduced a new range of more sustainable coffee capsules based on SABIC’s certified renewable polymers for use in its proprietary Delizio capsule machines. Delica is using certified renewable polypropylene (PP) resins in the coffee capsules. The bio-feedstock based “second generation” materials are part of SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio of circular products and services. The new capsules were introduced in the market in April 2021 and replace fossil-based virgin PP.

As part of its commitment to the Delizio coffee capsule project, SABIC supplies its certified renewable SABIC PP materials to ALMA Packaging for conversion into a plastic film from which the capsules are thermoformed. Delica fills and closes the capsules, which are then sold to consumers through its parent company, Migros, Switzerland's largest retail and supermarket chain. SABIC’s renewable PP materials are produced from tall oil, an animal-free and palm oil-free feedstock which is not in direct competition with human food production sources. The tall oil is a waste product from the wood pulping process in the paper industry. SABIC’s certified renewable PP resins offer the same high quality and purity as virgin PP made from fossil fuel.

“A life cycle study conducted by Carbotech has shown that we can significantly reduce the environmental footprint of our Delizio capsules by replacing our former fossil-based main component with a renewable polypropylene material based on tall oil,” says Ralf van den Bragt, head of business unit coffee at Delica AG. “With a certified renewable content of at least 65%, the environmental impact is reduced by approx. 40% per capsule."

“Our bio PP films with SABIC’s renewable polymers provide the same convenient processing properties as conventional PP films while leading to plastic packaging solutions with high CO2 savings,” says Philipp Broch, managing director at ALMA Packaging AG. “They can be made with plastic based on renewable feedstock of up to 95%, as specified by the customer and certified by mass balance accounting.”

The sustainability value or contribution of SABIC's certified renewable polymers is validated using a mass balance approach under the widely recognized International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC PLUS) scheme. Mass balance is determined to allocate the renewable content used in production and conversion of the plastic material to the ultimate application. This allows brand owners like Migros to highlight and quantify the more sustainable choice consumers can make by purchasing end products packaged in renewable plastics.

The ISCC PLUS accreditation verifies that the mass balance accounting follows predefined and transparent rules. In addition, the certification also provides traceability throughout the partners’ entire supply chain from the feedstock to the final product. Moreover, a cradle-to-gate lifecycle analysis has confirmed the sustainability value or contribution of SABIC’s certified renewable materials. From sourcing the raw feedstock to producing the polymers, each ton of the company’s bio-based PP and PE resin reduces CO2 emissions by an average of 4 kg as compared to fossil-based virgin alternatives, while at the same time cutting fossil depletion by up to 80%. The study was carried out according to ISO 14040 and has been validated in a critical third-party review.

“Fossil depletion and waste are among the biggest challenges on our planet and require a fundamental transformation of the value chain in the plastics economy,” says Abdullah Al-Otaibi, general manager of Engineering Thermoplastics & Market Solutions for Petrochemicals at SABIC. “Our vision is that plastics should be sustainably sourced and must never end up in the environment. With our TRUCIRCLE initiative, we have positioned ourselves at the forefront of this quest and are helping converters, designers, and brand owners to collaborate and gain a sustainable edge by using high-quality recycled, circular or renewable polymer materials.”

SABIC’s complete TRUCIRCLE offering comprises design for recyclability services, mechanically recycled materials, certified circular products from chemical recycling of used plastics and certified renewable polymers from bio-based feedstock.

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