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Daily CSR

Daily CSR
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ExxonMobil and Ahold Delhaize USA collaborate on advanced plastic recycling


The shelf life of flexible plastic can be further extended if multiple industries collaborate.

ExxonMobil and Ahold Delhaize USA announced their collaboration on an advanced recycling initiative in April 2022, the first of its kind in the United States. Flexible plastics from the food supply chain are recycled and remade into new, certified circular food-grade packaging. The initiative is expected to begin this summer and gradually expand.

“We’re proud to work with SEE and ExxonMobil on this collaboration, which has the potential to radically change the way retailers and manufacturers leverage food-grade recycled plastics as a key means of keeping plastics out of landfills,” said Brittni Furrow, VP, Health & Sustainability, Ahold Delhaize USA. “We’re eager to learn from this work and apply the learnings to advance our own plastics ambitions, but also advance these efforts broadly, helping to ensure a better tomorrow for our planet.”

Driving a circular economy for plastics using packaging materials with strict hygiene and performance requirements for food protection and distribution is a critical challenge for the food industry. Recovering these vital packaging materials necessitates creative recycling solutions that go beyond traditional mechanical recycling.

SEE, ExxonMobil, and Ahold Delhaize USA's collaboration will help increase the use of recycled content by validating the technical and economic viability of a certified circular system based on advanced recycling technology and mass balance attribution.

Flexible plastics will be created with the intention of being collected, recycled, and repurposed into new food packaging. The project will contribute to keeping used flexible plastics out of landfills, increasing the number of times essential plastics can be recycled, and ensuring the safety and quality of packaged foods.

“SEE is leading the packaging industry by showing how high-performance packaging materials can be designed to be remade. Advanced recycling is key to these valuable materials being collected and remanufactured,” said Ted Doheny, SEE President and CEO.

“Our collaboration with ExxonMobil is opening new recycling possibilities and by partnering with leading retail group Ahold Delhaize USA, we are paving the way for our industry to protect perishable foods while creating a low-carbon, circular economy.”

“We are delighted to work with SEE and Ahold Delhaize USA on this important project,” said David Hergenrether, Vice President, Polyethylene, ExxonMobil. “This relationship is an example of the value chain collaborations needed to enable a more circular economy. We are excited that certified circular plastics from our Exxtend™ technology for advanced recycling will play an important role.”