Consolidated Container Corp. expects demand for its OceanBound brand of recycled high density polyethylene to increase now that the company has received clearance for food contact from the federal government.
CCC, through its Envision Plastics recycling subsidiary, uses plastic collected within about 30 miles, or 50 kilometers, of waterways to serve as its OceanBound resin. Without collection, the plastic has the potential to be swept into waterways that lead to oceans.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a letter of no objection for OceanBound, clearing the way for its use with food-contact packaging.
Up until now, the company has been supplying the resin for items such as electronics packaging, sunglasses and other nonfood items, said Mark Shafer, senior vice president and general manager at Envision Plastics.
Nurture Hospitality Group, which makes hotel bathroom amenity containers, also indicated late last year a move to OceanBound resin and use of the nOcean — short for "no ocean" — symbol to identify those bottles and tubs.
"We fully expect this to dramatically increase the demand because our customers have been asking us to get the NOL [non-objection letter] in place," Schafer said.
The letter gives brand owners an extra level of comfort in using the resin. And while the resin already has been available for use in other applications, such as personal care items, the company expects the new status will give companies the extra piece of mind needed for wider use.
The federal government, in its government way, does not approve any recycled plastic for food contact. The agency only says it will not object and issues a letter. But that move opens the door for its use without objection.