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NOVA Chemicals receives FDA LNO for plastic films mechanical recycling process at Indiana (U.S.) facility

  • First company to receive FDA LNO to produce rLLDPE for broad food contact uses
  • Second food-compliant SYNDIGO™ rPE to be available in 2025

NOVA Chemicals Corp. announced that it has received a Letter of Non Objection (LNO) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirming the capability of its mechanical recycling process in Connersville, Indiana, to produce post-consumer recycled linear, low-density polyethylene (rLLDPE) material that is suitable for broad food-contact applications.

The rLLDPE will be sold under the brand name SYNDIGO™ and will become NOVA’s second food-compliant recycled polyethylene (rPE). rPE enables converters and brand owners to incorporate recycled materials into food and non-food packaging products.

“This is a significant milestone on our journey to circularity and lays the foundation for NOVA Circular Solutions to be the first to market with broad food-contact compliant rLLDPE made from consumer and retail plastic film in 2025,” said Greg DeKunder, vice president, NOVA Circular Solutions. “We are committed to building a state-of-the-art mechanical recycling business. We have the product development and engineering skills to produce recycled plastic resins for the most demanding and premium food contact applications.”

Customers will be able to use NOVA’s rLLDPE at up to 100 percent recycled content for the manufacture of food packaging intended to contact all food types under Conditions of Use (COU) B through H. rLLDPE is one of the most commonly used materials for flexible food packaging and can be used for the full scope of applications including pantry staples, refrigerator items, and freezer packaging. There is high interest from converters, retailers, and brand owners for rPE. McKinsey estimates that the demand for post-consumer recycled plastic will triple by 2030 to about 90 MMt.

“Meeting the rigorous standards of the FDA for the broadest food contact applications is a testament to the innovative design of our mechanical recycling facility as well as the diligence we take regarding chain of custody of the plastic film feedstock,” said Alan Schrob, director of mechanical recycling, NOVA Circular Solutions. “We are leveraging NOVA Chemicals’ nearly 50 years of product stewardship expertise and applying that same capability to our recycled SYNDIGO products and manufacturing. This is a key differentiator for NOVA Circular Solutions.”

“We welcome the opportunity to work with the industry to collect retail and distribution center plastic film and recycle it at our centrally located Indiana facility. By working across the value chain, we are creating a circular system where we collect flexible plastics and, in return, provide rPE for your food and non-food contact packaging,” said DeKunder.

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