Ahold Delhaize USA is committed to driving transparency across the supply chain and making products more sustainable. One way the company does this is by working to increase the circularity of its plastic food packaging.
This initiative is very challenging because of regulations that control the types of materials that can contact and contain food. Recycled content must be food-grade and meet specific safety and quality requirements. Ahold Delhaize USA saw its private-label poultry packaging as the ideal starting point to ideate, test, improve, and implement an increase in food-grade quality, and post-consumer recycled content.
The packaging and sustainability groups that support Ahold Delhaize USA and its local brands collaborated with the CRYOVAC® brand team on an innovative solution. Working with SEE® resin supply partners, the companies developed an advanced recycling program ideal for Ahold Delhaize USA.
The goal of this project was to take discarded flexible plastics from Ahold Delhaize USA’s retail stores and distribution centers and recycle it into food-grade packaging film.
With advanced recycling, flexible plastics are recycled and remade into new, certified circular resins. These resins become the components for new packaging, displacing the need for resins derived from virgin fossil fuels.
Finding the discarded flexible plastics was simple. Ahold Delhaize USA’s day-to-day operations generated flexible films and plastics, like pallet wraps, that would now be diverted to advanced recycling. Some material also came from customers through its retail store drop-off program.
These materials are submitted for advanced recycling, and mass balance attribution turns them into certified circular polymers for food-grade packaging. SEE then converts the product into food-grade flexible film. The film is shipped to a printer/converter, then Ahold Delhaize USA’s supplier for use with the company’s private label brand - Nature’s Promise® - specifically its fresh poultry traypacks.
This advanced recycling collaboration is the first of its kind in the US. The system keeps more flexible plastics moving through the supply chain, instead of being discarded after a single use.