Braskem, the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas and leading producer of biopolymers in the world, today announced the launch of its new INSPIRE polypropylene (PP) grade designed to replace polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in consumer packaging applications such as ready-made meals at grocery stores and fast casual restaurants when higher temperature resistance is needed.
Braskem offers the new PP thermoforming grade, as part of its INSPIRE series, which can be an excellent replacement for PET. Braskem's INSPIRE series of value added polypropylene products offers enhanced performance attributes delivering a distinctive balance of performance and sustainability, providing Braskem clients differentiated products versus commodity grade polymers. The new grade has optical properties that approach PET, with improved thermal properties over PET and traditional random copolymer polypropylene. The new grade is suitable for thermoformed applications which demand a great balance of clarity and heat resistance, such as store and restaurant pre-prepared and ready-to-heat meals. The improved heat resistance allows these containers to be used in the dishwasher for continued re-use.
Alexandre Elias, Braskem America Vice President, Polyolefins commented, "Our INSPIRE series offers an attractive balance of performance and sustainability with a simplified pellet management solution. The INSPIRE series allows thermoformers to utilize a single pellet for a wide-range of applications that require varying levels of stiffness, clarity or impact creating a simplified inventory approach. This latest polypropylene grade is designed as an ideal solution to replace PET because of its recyclability and unique properties."
In June, Braskem announced the construction completion of its world-class polypropylene production line in La Porte, Texas. Braskem's new facility has a designed production capacity of over 450 kilotons (kt) or 1 billion pounds per year and has the capability to produce the entire polypropylene portfolio including a broad range of polypropylene products including homopolymer, impact copolymer and random copolymers. Initial production test runs began in July with the first full scale commercial production activity currently expected in the third quarter of 2020.