Sealed Air Corp. is teaming with Kuraray America Inc. in a project to manufacture plant-based food packaging.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Sealed Air is spending about $24 million to add new capacity at a Simpsonville, S.C., location that will use Kuraray's Plantic brand plant-based resin and post-consumer plastic.
Kuraray will spend an additional $15 million to add Plantic production equipment in Houston.
Plantic primarily uses natural starch made from corn, which is transformed into a pliable material, similar to a thermoplastic, through the process.
Both portions of the project are slated to be operational next year.
"This investment also helps us reach our commitment to deliver 100 percent recyclable or reusable packaging offerings, and 50 percent average recycled content across all packaging solutions by 2025," Sealed Air CEO Ted Doheny said.
Kuraray will continue to import Plantic from Australia as both projects progress.
The decision to spend a combined $39 million on the two projects follows an agreement between the two companies last summer to offer Plantic packaging for perishable foods including beef, seafood and poultry.
Kuraray America is a unit of Kuraray Co. Ltd. of Japan, which also owns Monosol, a maker of water-soluble films with extensive operations in northern Indiana.
Sealed Air offers a wide variety of plastic packaging and owns the Cryovac and Bubble Wrap brands.