Magnum is rolling out these seven million ice cream tubs made with certified circular polypropylene from SABIC’s Trucircle initiative, which uses feedstock made from recycling used, mixed plastic. Magnum enjoyed a successful pilot launch of the new packaging in Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands last year, and the full rollout across all European countries is another exciting step to offer more sustainable packaging to consumers, the company adds.
The new Magnum tubs have been developed in close collaboration with Unilever and SABIC. SABIC has developed a new polypropylene impact copolymer for frozen food packaging. SABIC’s material uses post-consumer mixed plastic as feedstock, which is broken down into its molecular building blocks, to create virgin plastics that are then used to produce these new recyclable ice cream tubs. With more in-home consumption due to COVID-19, the introduction of these tubs and their impact on the environment becomes even more relevant as the world prepares for a new future.
“We are proud to be the world’s first ice cream brand to pioneer this ground-breaking technology,” says Julien Barraux, Global Magnum vice president. “Through this new approach, we hope to lead the food and refreshment industry towards a more sustainable future, paving the way to a circular economy.”
Mark Vester, circular economy leader at SABIC, says, “Magnum tubs display a great collaborative effort between Unilever and SABIC, a true collaboration and innovation that drives positive change towards closing the loop on valuable, used plastics.”
By the end of 2020, Magnum will use an estimated 160,000 kilograms of certified recycled plastic material. The move is part of Unilever’s wider global packaging commitment to reduce the company’s use of virgin plastic by half. The company will accomplish this goal by reducing its absolute use of plastic packaging by more than 100,000 tons and accelerating its use of recycled plastic by 2025.
Although there have been rPP options available for beauty and personal care products for some time, there was previously no solution approved for use in food-grade packaging. Unilever collaborated with SABIC to develop one. The rPP used in Magnum has not been obtained by traditional mechanical recycling, as this is not suitable for food contact packaging. Unilever uses a recycling process that transforms the plastic waste into a resin with the same characteristics as virgin food-grade resin. This new technology allows for the recycling of low quality, mixed plastic waste that would otherwise most likely be destined for incineration or landfill. It is not currently possible to produce food-grade rPP with any other form of recycling system, adds Unilever.
SABIC’s certified polymers are based on a mass balance approach. To secure the chain of custody, the value chain parties require an ISCC Plus certification. This widely recognized international sustainability certification scheme verifies that the mass balance accounting follows predefined and transparent rules. In addition, it provides traceability along the supply chain, from the feedstock to the final product.