Packaging isn’t just for wrapping, it’s essential for preservation and protection. People depend on packaging to maintain the integrity of the food and goods they buy – whether in store or during transportation.

With the global population growing significantly and a burgeoning middle class in developing countries, there is projected to be an increase in the trade of food, goods and freight driving demand for effective flexible and rigid packaging. In meeting these needs the packaging industry needs to balance a number of trends, including increased convenience, ease of use, better integrity, recycling, and lower costs, while the pressure to improve the sustainability benefits of packaging continues to grow.

Collaborating with customers and across the value chain including trade associations, we are committed to helping the industry develop high-performance, sustainable plastic packaging solutions.

Our products are increasingly being used to produce lightweight, durable packaging solutions that can use less material and energy, reduce waste (packaged goods and packaging material) and offer opportunities for recycling. In the case of food and beverages, our products can extend shelf-life, reduce spoilage and protect food longer, compared to alternatives such as aluminum, glass and paper (see examples below).

Solutions include:

  • an LCA conducted by the UK government assessed greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with various types of reusable and disposable grocery bags. The study concluded that various paper, cotton or other plastic reusable bags would need to be re-used up to 131 times to lower their impact to that of the traditional plastic high density polyethylene grocery bag (UK Environment Agency, 2006)
  • an LCA showed that a heavy duty sack made from Exceed™ and Enable™ metallocene polyethylene (mPE) resins typically weighs 65 grams, while a paper equivalent is 83 grams or more; cumulative energy demand (cradle-to-grave) of the mPE film sack is only 39-54% that of paper sacks; and, total GHG emissions of mPE film sacks are about 22-25% of paper sacks (ExxonMobil Chemical product data)
  • stretch hood films with Vistamaxx™ performance polymers being used at the Meerhout polymer plant in Belgium are 10% thinner than standard EVA-based films. This reduces material use by up to 16%, while providing the same pallet load stability and puncture resistance (ExxonMobil Chemical product data)
  • a life cycle study prepared for the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) in 2014, show that on a U.S. national level, to substitute the 14.4 million metric tons of plastic packaging would require more than 64 million metric tons of other types of packaging, such as steel, aluminum, glass, and paper. The substitute packaging would require 80% more cumulative energy demand and result in 130% more global warming potential impacts, expressed as carbon dioxide (CO₂) equivalents, compared to the equivalent plastic packaging (The American Chemistry Council)
  • a study by Denkstatt GmbH of Austria for PlasticsEurope demonstrated that substituting plastic packaging with alternatives like glass, aluminum, steel or paper results in:
    • energy demand increasing by a factor of 2.2 (1,240 million GJ) which is equivalent to 20 million heated homes
    • GHG emissions increasing by a factor of 2.7 (61 million tons of CO2 equivalents) which is comparable to the CO2 emissions of Denmark
    • packaging mass increasing on average by a factor of 3.6

Our performance products are enabling the development of high-quality solutions for a broad range of packaging applications.

*The American Chemistry Council.