The Bio-based PE, which is produced at Dow’s production facility in The Netherlands, is used in applications such as food packaging to reduce food waste


Image: The renewable plastics can be used for food packaging. Photo: courtesy of congerdesign from Pixabay.

Advanced biofuels producer UPM Biofuels and chemical firm Dow have joined forces to commercialise the plastics made from bio-based renewable feedstock, for the packaging industry.

The bio-based polyethylene (PE) is produced at the Dow’s production facility in Terneuzen, The Netherlands.

The facility uses wood-based UPM BioVerno renewable naphtha, a key raw material used to develop plastics, which is integrated with Dow’s slate of raw materials, as feedstock.

The UPM BioVerno naphtha is produced from crude tall oil, which is a residue of paper pulp production. UPM produces the naphtha at its facility in Lappeenranta, Finland.

Bio-based PE is used in food packaging to reduce food waste

Dow said that the bio-based PE is used in applications such as food packaging to reduce food waste.

Dow recycling commercial director Carsten Larsen said: “The partnership between UPM and Dow illustrates our ambition to ensure the products we sell support the shift from a traditional linear economy towards a circular economy.

“At the end of their useful life, products and materials are recovered as efficiently as possible so they can be used again.

“We are focusing on the sustainability properties of every polymer we bring to market by working with partners like UPM to source alternative feedstocks to minimize the amount of fossil resources required for production.”

Dow, following the completion of year-long trial program, will now scale the production of renewable plastics.

UPM Biofuels vice-president Panu Routasalo said: “It’s exciting to work with Dow and Elopak in the production of a truly sustainable consumer product.

“We are pleased to help meet value chain demand for increased sustainability in packaging by providing a highquality renewable naphtha for the market.”

The recyclability of the plastics made from renewable feedstock has been validated by Dow in partnership with Elopak, a paper board-based packaging supplier.

In addition to significantly reducing CO2 emissions, the fully recyclable packaging helps brand owners meet their sustainability packaging goals, Dow said.

Recently, UPM Raflatac and UPM Biofuels have partnered to create two wood-based renewable labelling materials, UPM Raflatac Forest Film and UPM Raflatac Fossil-Free Adhesive.