FDA Clears Borealis’ Borcycle™ M Recycled Plastics For Use In Food-grade Packaging

28 March 2024

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.

This media release is available in English and German language. Please find the mentioned language versions and further photo material here.

Media contacts:
Borealis Group Media Desk
Virginia Wieser, Lena Lehner, Karin Schober
Tel: +43 1 22 400 899 (Vienna, Austria)
E-mail: [email protected]

About Borealis

Borealis is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced and sustainable polyolefin solutions. In Europe, Borealis is also an innovative leader in polyolefins recycling and a major producer of base chemicals. We leverage our polymer expertise and decades of experience to offer value-adding, innovative and circular material solutions for key industries such as consumer products, energy, healthcare, infrastructure and mobility.

With customers in over 120 countries and head office in Vienna, Austria, Borealis employs around 6,000 people. In 2023, we generated a net profit of EUR 216 million. OMV, the integrated energy, fuels & feedstock and chemicals & materials company headquartered in Vienna, Austria, owns 75% of our shares. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), owns the remaining 25%.

In re-inventing essentials for sustainable living, we build on our commitment to safety, our people, innovation and technology, and performance excellence. We are accelerating the transformation to a circular economy of polyolefins and expanding our geographical footprint to better serve our customers around the globe. Our operations are augmented by two important joint ventures: Borouge (with ADNOC, headquartered in the UAE); and Baystar™ (with TotalEnergies, based in the US).