UPM Biochemicals and Selenis form strategic alliance to develop sustainable PETG
UPM Biochemicals and Selenis, a subsidiary of leading specialty polyester manufacturer IMG Group, today announced a partnership that will help the packaging industry reduce its carbon footprint and meet the sustainability goals of its customers.
The strategic partnership aims to produce sustainable polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG), which is used in a wide range of everyday products, including cosmetics and personal care packaging as well as consumer durables and shrink films. The introduction of renewable materials made from sustainable biomass from forestry is accelerating the shift in the packaging sector towards greater sustainability and reducing dependence on fossil resources.
UPM will supply Selenis with Bio-Mono-Ethylene Glycol (Bio-MEG) called UPM BioPura™ from its new plant in Leuna, which is the basis for the production of Bio-PETG. In Leuna, UPM is building the world’s first industrial-scale biorefinery. This plant will convert forest biomass from sustainably managed and certified forests in the region into sustainable biochemicals without competing with food resources. This enables manufacturers to redefine their emissions targets and can help significantly reduce their Scope 3 emissions* by switching from fossil to renewable feedstocks.
“We are very pleased to partner with Selenis. Selenis has a strategy to continuously reduce the carbon footprint of its products. Partnerships like ours are at the heart of a greener, more sustainable chemistry,” said Michael Duetsch, Vice President Biochemicals at UPM.
“Together with Selenis, we will deliver outstanding solutions for their customers that will allow them to develop more sustainable packaging solutions with a significantly reduced carbon footprint. As the packaging industry strives for a greener future, the inclusion of bio-based materials such as UPM BioPura™ will be an essential part, alongside an ever increasing proportion of recycled materials.“
Selenis researches and develops fully recyclable products along the PET value chain. Among other things, the company has a pioneering technology for converting plastic waste into new polymers. In the process, fossil raw materials are replaced by recycled polyester raw materials. By adding bio and recycled content, Selenis’ customers can thus reduce the carbon footprint of their products without having to sacrifice familiar product properties. The use of renewable energy in the production process further reduces emissions.
“We are focusing our innovation efforts on markets where the demand for recyclable solutions is very high due to short product life cycles. The packaging and and cosmetics industries are two examples of markets where manufacturers give high priority to the circular economy,” explains Marta Matos Gil, Chief Sustainability Officer at Selenis.
“Developing products that are recyclable and environmentally friendly is critical to building the circular economy. Our new partnership with UPM shows how we are developing viable solutions for our customers along the entire value chain, supporting them on their journey towards carbon neutrality. Together we are driving the development of the circular economy and significantly reducing plastic waste.”