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FDA clears Borealis’ Borcycle™ M recycled plastics for use in food-grade packaging

  • Borealis receives two Letters of No Objection from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) that allow its Borcycle™ M post-consumer recycled plastics to be used in food-grade packaging in countries covered by FDA governance 
  • The move supports Borealis to meet growing demand for high-quality recycled materials suitable for demanding and contact-sensitive applications
  • The decision marks a significant step forward in Borealis’ EverMinds™ ambition to accelerate action on plastics circularity

Borealis is pleased to announce that it has received Letters of No Objection (LNOs) from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) concerning the use of specific grades of its Borcycle™ M post-consumer recycled plastics (PCR) in food-grade packaging. This major achievement confirms Borealis’ position as a market leader in value-added solutions for the circular economy.

Borcycle M is Borealis’ transformational mechanical recycling technology that gives post-consumer plastic waste another life in an energy-efficient way. The FDA’s LNOs pave the way for Borcycle M-derived materials to be used in a specific range of demanding and sensitive applications, including cosmetics and personal care as well as food contact.

The FDA authority has issued two LNOs that allow Borcycle M PCR high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) to be used up to 100% in certain dry food contact applications. Additionally, these recycled materials can constitute up to 10% of packaging for dry foods with surface oil and moist bakery products. The FDA’s LNOs are effective from January 2024 for recycled HDPE, and from February 2024 for recycled PP.

This represents another step in Borealis’ EverMinds™ ambition to accelerate action in plastics circularity. By enabling a wider range of products to be made from recycled plastics, the FDA’s LNOs will help to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in incineration and landfill, as well as decrease dependence on virgin materials. They will also support Borealis to meet growing demand for high-quality, recycled materials suitable for demanding and sensitive applications. 

“Our customers will be able to expand the use of value-added, recycled plastics within their portfolios. Combined with all of Borealis’ other sustainable offerings, this FDA clearance of selected grades of our Borcycle M portfolio for food-grade applications will help them achieve their sustainability targets and bring us all closer to a fully circular economy for plastics," explains Jonatas Melo, Borealis Vice President for Performance Materials

Borealis is now poised to move forward with the development of selected food packaging applications from recycled HDPE and PP. 

“This marks a major milestone for Borealis, helping us to live our purpose of reinventing essentials for sustainable living,” says Mirjam Mayer, Borealis Vice President Circular Economy Solutions. 

The FDA’s LNOs apply in the United States of America, as well as other regions covered by FDA governance. In the EU, the FDA clearance will facilitate conversations on the use of these materials in high-end, contact sensitive applications such as cosmetics and personal care packaging.