Fresh produce packaging has just gotten a lot more sustainable. Companies BASF and StePac recently announced that they have joined forces to develop a highly sustainable and effective packaging model for fresh produce.

A chemical production company, BASF has agreed to supply packaging company StePac with its Ultramid Ccycled, a chemically recycled polyamide 6. The new material is said to extend the shelf life of fresh produce while also being environmentally friendly. 

This will be done by incorporating BASF’s Ultramid CCycled material with StePac’s already effective Xgo and Xtend packaging brands. Xgo and Xtend – MAP technology-based materials that preserve the quality and nutritional value of fresh produce – will now be made up of at least 30% Ultramid CCycled material.

The blend will allow for a more sustainable material without the loss of its produce protection capabilities.

“This alliance will help strike a balance between creating plastic packaging that is as eco-friendly as possible to keep fresh produce longer through more prudent use of lean plastic films,” said Gary Ward, Business Development Manager of StePac.

This partnership aligns with BASF’s goal of creating a more sustainable future, as the company strives to find economic utility while also advocating for environmental protection and waste reduction.

“Using a mass balance approach, the raw material can be attributed to specific products, such as Ultramid CCycled. This helps to replace fossil raw materials and is an important step towards circularity. As chemically recycled plastics have the same quality and safety as virgin material, the scope of plastics that can be recycled for fresh produce packaging is widened,” said Dr. Dominik Winter, Vice President of BASF’s European polyamides business.

The offspring of this partnership, packaging brand Xgo Circular, will make its market debut for Colombian passion fruit exporter Jardin Exotics, S.A.S., where it is expected to slow the produce’s ripening rate and eliminate the need to repack at arrival.