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Beyond The Headlines: Smurfit Kappa shares trading update, LyondellBasell acquires equity ownership of Agilyx and ExxonMobil

#Beyond The Headlines: Smurfit Kappa shares trading update, LyondellBasell acquires equity ownership of Agilyx and ExxonMobil

03 Nov 2023 — This week in industry news, Smurfit Kappa published its trading update for the first nine months of this year, and LyondellBasell acquired partial equity ownership of the joint venture between Agilyx and ExxonMobil. Meanwhile, Queensland’s newest Containers for Change refund point opened in Brisbane, Australia. 

In brief: Business news 
Smurfit Kappa Group announced a trading update for the nine months to September 30. The company registered an EBITDA of €1.625 million (US$1.7 million) with an EBITDA margin of 19% and a return on capital employed of 18%, reflecting the ongoing benefit of capital plans and operating excellence. The net debt to EBITDA ratio was 1.4x. Furthermore, the announced transaction to combine Smurfit Kappa and WestRock is creating a global leader in sustainable fiber-based packaging.

LyondellBasell acquired 25% equity ownership of the joint venture between Agilyx and ExxonMobil. LyondellBasell joining Cyclyx, formed in December 2020, further accelerates innovation and development of the necessary infrastructure for a US-wide circular plastics economy. Furthermore, Cyclyx announced it is expanding its business model from a strict licensing model to now include a build, own, and operate option for Cyclyx Circularity Centers. This business model expansion will enable Cyclyx to control the custody and quality of custom-blended feedstocks from sourcing through delivery. Cyclyx also believes this expanded business model will accelerate the collection of post-use plastics to increase recycling in more communities and businesses across the US.

Green water bottles.Chlorophyll Water transitioned to bottles made from 100% recycled plastic with CleanFlake technology. Conner Industries, a leading provider of lumber, industrial wood crates and pallets, and integrated packaging solutions, acquired Denver Reel & Pallet Company, a custom wooden crate and pallet business in Denver, US. This latest acquisition marks the company’s first investment in the Rocky Mountain industrial packaging market and its second major investment since July. 

Imperial Dade, a leading distributor of foodservice packaging, printing papers and janitorial supplies, acquired Advance Shipping Supplies. The transaction represents the 75th acquisition for Imperial Dade under the leadership of Robert and Jason Tillis, chairman and CEO of Imperial Dade. Financial terms of the private transaction were not disclosed. Imperial Dade remains committed to the strategic focus to continue to grow through organic initiatives and a disciplined acquisition process.

In brief: Launches and releases
Chlorophyll Water, the “first” bottled water in the US to pass the Clean Label Project certification requirements, transitioned to bottles made from 100% recycled plastic (rPET) with CleanFlake technology. The rPET bottles are crafted from food-grade recycled PET. The plastic is recycled as per the technologies approved by the US FDA and European Food Safety Authority for food-grade recycled material and repurposed into new PET bottles, reducing the need for virgin plastic for producing PET bottles.

Pect, an environmental charity based in Peterborough, UK, and Recoup introduced the Pect Bring it Back Toolkit. The new toolkit is designed for businesses and communities to help address the growing problem of single-use packaging. The toolkit encourages and helps set up returnable packaging schemes, tackling the pollution at its source. It was developed following a range of behavior change pilots, which tested the barriers and enablers to successfully launch a reusable packaging scheme in different locations (including schools, community hubs, offices and café networks).Food pouch with backpack in the background.Kate Farms new food pouch with an integrated feeding tube.

Kate Farms announced the launch of its smart-packaged first whole-food blended meals, coming to market in early 2024. Kate Farms Pediatric Blended Meals will introduce the first whole food formulas inspired by meals at home with resealable packaging that connects to common tube feeding devices, providing a convenient way to nourish people using feeding tubes. 

Coveris announced launching a new recyclable thermoforming film branded Formpeel P at the Compamed trade show in Düsseldorf, Germany, November 13-16. The theme of this year’s exhibition is sustainability. Formpeel P is the latest addition to Coveris’ portfolio of sustainable materials, including Formpeel T, Flexopeel T and Cleerpeel. It provides the same functionality and safety as traditional materials while minimizing packaging and product waste.

In brief: Programs, awards and reports
Queensland’s newest Containers for Change refund point opened in Brisbane in time for the scheme’s expansion to include all glass wine and pure spirit bottles. The new full service enables customers to drop off their containers and have them counted by staff, without having to leave their vehicle.. The new center is expected to support six jobs in the local community and will add to the more than 360 refund points across Queensland. Since November 1, all Queensland Containers for Change refund points accept glass wine and pure spirit bottles in exchange for AUD 0.10 (US$ 0.06) refunds. 

Injections in packaging.Coveris’ new recyclable thermoforming film branded Formpeel. Avantium was awarded the EcoVadis Gold Medal in sustainability, after a thorough audit of Avantium’s performance for the Environment, Labor & Human Rights, Ethics and Sustainable Procurement, aligned with Avantium’s sustainability ambitions. This award places Avantium in the top 2% of companies globally (cross sector) rated by EcoVadis. EcoVadis is an evidence-based sustainability rating agency which conducted the sustainability audit of Avantium at the request of the Dutch investment fund Invest-NL.

Adhesive technologies company Bostik became the 50th participant to join Nextloopp in the push for food-grade recycled PP. The multi-participant project continues to break new ground in its mission to create food-grade and INRT-grade recycled PP from post-consumer packaging waste. The project entails separating food-grade PP from the rest using cutting-edge marker technology, PolyPrism, to identify and sort any number of pack variants, from butter tubs and yogurt pots to coffee pouches and detergent bottles in any plastic type.

Aimplas, the Plastics Technology Centre, published its fourth sustainability report, drawn up following the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative, the most recognized, most prestigious and strictest international standard for reports on sustainability issued by organizations and businesses. The publication reviews Aimplas’ activity and key milestones in 2022 regarding environmental, social, and governance criteria, as well as the center’s renewed commitment to the ten principles of the UN Global Compact and the Sustainable Development Goals.

By Natalie Schwertheim

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