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Neste and Mitsui Chemicals to collaborate on renewable packaging materials

| By Mary Bailey

Neste Corp. (Espoo, Finland), Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. (Tokyo) and Prime Polymer, a subsidiary of Mitsui Chemicals, are working together to provide more sustainable food packaging solutions for CO-OP, a brand of the Japanese Consumers Co-operative Union (JCCU). In the first phase of the collaboration, bio-based raw materials will replace fossil ones in the production of the packaging material for a seaweed snack. Going forward, the companies intend to introduce bio-based raw materials also to packaging for further products. 

“Change begins with small things. In this case, it’s slices of dried seaweed,” says Lilyana Budyanto, Head of Sustainable Partnerships APAC at Neste’s Renewable Polymers and Chemicals business unit. “However, the impact of renewable plastics packaging isn’t small at all. It’s a crucial contributor to the sustainability transformation of the plastics industry and reducing emissions along the value chain. We are looking forward to the cooperation with Mitsui Chemicals, Prime Polymer and JCCU evolving.” 

Neste provides renewable Neste RE™, a feedstock for polymers that is made entirely from bio-based raw materials. Through Mitsui Chemicals and the company’s subsidiary Prime Polymer, the feedstock is processed into renewable polypropylene under the brand name Prasus™, which is then turned into food packaging for JCCU. The packaging made with renewable materials comes with the same quality and performance as previously, when it was produced from fossil feedstock. The sole differences lie in the reduced carbon footprint of the packaging and the replacement of fossil materials during its production. A mass balancing approach is applied to allocate the renewable material to the plastic packaging. The seaweed snack packaging is the first packaging made with renewable plastics via mass balancing that has received the Japanese Eco Mark certification.