Saving resources together: Beiersdorf and SABIC start partnership on certified renewable plastics for cosmetic packaging

Saving resources together: Beiersdorf and SABIC start partnership on certified renewable plastics for cosmetic packaging

  • Beiersdorf is taking the next step towards more sustainable packaging: it will include plastics from renewable sources into its packaging portfolio
  • With this action, the skin care company is among the first movers in the cosmetic mass market segment – the first products made of renewable polypropylene (PP) to come to market in 2021
  • Certified, renewable PP from SABIC’s ‘TRUCIRCLE™’ product portfolio is based on a by-product of the paper industry and will replace fossil-based feedstock for plastic

Beiersdorf and the chemical company SABIC are entering into a cooperation. The aim is to market a sustainable cosmetic packaging made of certified, renewable polypropylene (PP) from SABIC’s ‘TRUCIRCLE™’ portfolio. Plant-based, renewable raw materials will be used to produce the PP – so fossil raw materials will be substituted. With this action, Beiersdorf intends to further reduce the use of fossil-based resources for plastic packaging.

The renewable raw material that forms the basis for the sustainable plastic is a by-product of the paper industry. The so-called ‘tall oil’ is produced during the processing of trees into pulp. This plant-based by-product replaces an equivalent amount of fossil crude oil, which is originally needed for plastic production. The renewable PP packaging not only avoids fossil raw materials, it is much more ‘climate-friendly’ as it causes less CO2 emissions.

Beiersdorf as industry pioneer in the use of renewable PP
“The reduction of fossil raw materials in our portfolio is of essential importance to us. The use of renewable raw materials in our product packaging represents a major lever for us to reduce our carbon emissions and improve our ecological footprint. We are pushing this forward with great energy. We are proud to be the first in our mass market segment supporting the use of PP made from renewable, plant-based raw materials as a packaging material for our cosmetic products, and we are pleased to have a strong, experienced partner with SABIC. Together, we want to contribute to the raw material change and take an important next step towards achieving our ambitious sustainability targets. We will launch our first products with packaging made of almost 100% certified PP from renewable raw materials already in 2021,” explains Michael Becker, Head of Global Packaging Development at Beiersdorf.

“We are very pleased to welcome Beiersdorf on our journey towards transforming the plastics industry into a truly circular and sustainable economy,” comments Sergi Monros, Vice President of Performance Polymers & Industry Solutions for Petrochemicals at SABIC. “Innovative cosmetic packaging using our certified renewable PP and PE polyolefins can make a significant contribution to reducing the fossil depletion and greenhouse gas emissions. The plant-based materials provide easy drop-in solutions to existing fossil-based plastic conversion processes and applications, without compromises on purity, quality, safety or convenience. SABIC is determined to help its partners benefit from this potential.” 

Traceability by mass balance system
SABIC’s certified renewable polymers are based on a mass balance approach in compliance with the widely recognized International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC PLUS) scheme. The 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 to highlight and quantify the 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 and standards. In addition, the certification also provides full traceability throughout the partners’ entire supply chain – from the feedstock to the final product.

Ambitious targets for sustainable packaging
For Beiersdorf, sustainable packaging plays a major role. In the company’s Sustainability Agenda CARE BEYOND SKIN a dedicated focus area “For Fully Circular Resources” has been defined for this purpose with a clear vision: Circularity. The company has set ambitious targets that are to be achieved within 5 years. By 2025, the company wants to achieve 100 percent refillable, reusable or recyclable packaging, increase the share of recycled material in plastic packaging to 30 percent and at the same period, reduce the use of fossil-based virgin plastic by 50 percent (base year 2019). This is exactly where the cooperation with SABIC comes into play: the new types of renewable plastic packaging avoid the use of fossil raw materials. Additionally, the renewable PP packaging is 100 percent recyclable and ‘climate-friendly’, as it causes less CO2 emissions.

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