Fast-growing film reclaimer Circulus has received the U.S. FDA’s go-ahead to produce food-contact LDPE at a second facility, expanding the company’s ability to supply the flexible food packaging market.
Houston, Texas-headquartered Circulus on Jan. 22 announced it received an FDA letter of no objection (LNO) for producing post-consumer LDPE at its Ardmore, Oklahoma reclamation plant. The letter indicates the FDA issued a favorable opinion on the company’s process for producing post-consumer resin (PCR) that can be used in food-contact packaging.
Circulus launched in 2021 with an initial facility in Riverbank, California and plans for growth around the country. It opened the Oklahoma plant in 2022, the same year it received a $300 million loan, and Circulus plans to start up a third facility, located in Arab, Alabama. Plastics Recycling Update could not reach a company representative to confirm the current status of that plant.
In a statement, Circulus CEO Mike Dulin said the food-contact letter is an “important milestone for Circulus as it will strengthen our ability to produce resins for a wide variety of consumer-facing products and packaging. This independent validation positions us to further serve the strong demand we are seeing across the sustainable packaging industry.”
This marks the company’s second positive opinion from the FDA: The California location received a nod for food-grade use of its film packaging last year.
The new LNO has not yet been posted to the FDA’s website, but the letter covering the California facility described a mechanical recycling process that created PCR for use in packaging coming into contact with raw fruits, vegetables and shell eggs.
Late in 2023, flexible packaging producer Emerald Packaging, which has been working to increase its post-consumer resin (PCR) use, announced a supply agreement to use post-consumer LDPE resin produced at Circulus’s California facility. The resin is going into plastic bags of up to 30% PCR used by D’Arrigo California, which sells produce under the Andy Boy label.