Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. has signed an agreement with Toyota Tsusho Corp., a global supplier of Bio-PET resin (bio-based polyethylene terephthalate), to become the lead company in North America to launch the renewable bioplastic in its rollstock product line. Made partially from bio-based mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) derived from sugarcane-based bioethanol, the Bio-PET is up to 30 percent plant-based. It's also as recyclable as petroleum-based PET.

Toyota Tsusho is a major supplier of Bio-PET resin suitable for use in the automotive, beverage and apparel industries. The material can be used for sheet extrusion, thermoforming, blow molding and injection molding.

“We’ve entered a new era of sustainability with the growth in plastics made from renewable feedstocks,” says James Sanfilippo, president and CEO, Clear Lam Packaging.  “We’re pleased to announce our new relationship with Toyota Tsusho, a proven global leader in the Bio-PET supply chain. This development expands Clear Lam’s leadership role in sustainable packaging and its offerings of renewable alternatives to traditional plastics.”

The new Clear Lam Bio-PET rollstock will be available in December and will run on existing equipment, including form fill and seal machinery used by food processors as well as on traditional industrial thermoformers. Clear Lam will incorporate the plant-based Bio-PET in sheet extrusions that will be sold to consumer packaged goods companies and manufacturers of industrial goods.

"We look forward to working with Clear Lam and expanding the use of our Bio-Pet resin sold under the Globio brand name. There are many applications for our products and rollstock is an important part. Clear Lam has a history of innovation as does Toyota Tsusho. We see a bright future for Clear Lam’s products made from Globio Bio-PET resin," says Shu Hisanaga, product manager for Toyota Tsusho.

Because of its performance characteristics, Bio-PET is well suited for packaging used for foods, electronics and personal health care products. The material’s strength, heat resistance, durability and formability make it a suitable replacement for styrene-based packaging, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and traditional polyester packaging.

While 30 percent of the materials used to produce Bio-PET are plant-based, the remaining 70 percent are made from traditional terephthalic acid (PTA).  Toyota Tsusho manufactures its Bio-PET in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. 

 “The advancements being made in bioplastics by companies like Toyota Tsusho are making the choice between traditional plastics and their plant-based alternatives easier,” adds Sanfilippo. “As a company that always strives to bring our customers the next breakthrough in sustainable design, we’re excited to see how many of the brand leaders we currently work with will utilize this new material in meeting their sustainability and performance goals.”

For more than a decade, Clear Lam has invested extensively in research and development to commercialize new packaging technologies that minimize the impact on the environment. These efforts include three product lines developed for Clear Lam’s Project EarthClear program: Flexible and Rigid Packaging made from renewable raw materials, bioplastics, cellophane and paper (not petroleum-based feedstocks); Flexible and Rigid Packaging made with recycled plastic or paper; and Lightweighting Materials to eliminate heavy cans, bottles and jars.

Clear Lam Packaging, Inc.

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