Swedish bread: tasty, healthy and now sustainable

Bakery

It is tasty, healthy and now also sustainable. We are talking about the Swedish bread. Polarbröd, Sweden’s third largest bakery, has taken the decision to convert all of its flexible film requirements from fossil-based Polyethylene to Braskem’s bio-based I’m green Polyethylene.

Polarbröd, which in 2015 baked 38,000 tons of bread at its three bakeries in Älvsbyn, Omne and Bredbyn, will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of its packaging when compared to fossil alternatives and as a result reduce its dependence on fossil resources.

Braskem’s green ethylene plant was commissioned in September 2010. This marked the beginning of I’m green Polyethylene production on a commercial scale, securing the Brasilian company’s global leadership position in bioplastics. The plant has received an investment of $290 million and has annual production capacity of 200,000 tons of I’m green Polyethylene, which is a plastic produced from ethanol sugarcane, a renewable raw material, while the traditional polyethylene uses fossil sourced raw materials such as oil or natural gas. “For this reason – Braskem claims – I’m green Polyethylene captures and fixes CO2 from the atmosphere during its production, helping to reduce greenhouse gases emission”.

According to the Brasilian biochemical giant, “I’m green Polyethylene retains the same properties, performance and application versatility of polyethylene from fossil origin, which facilitates immediate use in the plastics production chain. For the same reason, it also can be recycled within the same chain of recycling traditional polyethylene”.

Being a renewable feedstock, sugarcane captures and sequestrates CO2 from the atmosphere during every growth cycle, which occurs annually. In this way the production of I’m green Polyethylene contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions certainly when compared to conventional polyethylene, made from fossil materials. As a result the carbon footprint of I’m green Polyethylene is negative, when considering a “cradle to gate analysis”. This means that for every kilogram of I’m green Polyethylene used in the Polarbröd packaging, more than 4.5 kilogram of CO2 is saved.

“Braskem is really excited to have Polarbröd as a partner and to see their commitment to sustainability by introducing green PE into their full product range, a scale not yet seen in bakeries anywhere in the world”, says Marco Jansen, Commercial Director Renewable Chemicals Europe & North America.

“We have made the decision to use this packaging for our entire range, and although the current consequence of this is a higher cost we have come to the conclusion that it is the best choice”, states Johan Granberg, Purchase and Logistics Manager Polarbröd.

The choice of the Swedish company to introduce a bio-based packaging is part of a comprehensive sustainability plan. The corporation aims at being self-sufficient in renewable energy by 2022 and at reducing CO2 emissions from long-distance transports by 83% and from local transports by 63% using a basket of measures including more transports by rail and biofuels. “Transports – Polarbröd assures – will be 100% fossil-free by 2022. But that’s not all: working with suppliers and growers, 100% of Polarbröd’s ingredients will be sustainable by 2022. And packaging will be 100% fossil-free or recycled by the same year.

 

by Lara M. Moreno

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