Natura PCR, a leading film recycler and postconsumer resin (PCR) producer, says it has received a letter of nonobjection (LNO) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that enables the company’s 100-percent-recycled linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) PCR to be used in direct food-contact packaging applications, including packaging for foods stored at room temperature and for refrigerated and frozen foods.

The company says film and flexible packaging make up almost one-quarter of today’s plastic generation, but only about 5 percent is recycled. Demand for PCR is expected to continue to grow in response to consumer-packaged goods companies’ commitments to use recycled content and to pressures from consumers and regulators to increase PCR content in the packaging materials.

“This is a pivotal step toward making a real impact on meeting sustainable packaging goals of our customers,” says Jon Stephens, chief executive officer, Natura PCR. “The FDA’s LNO broadens the range of applications for our PCR products. We can now create a true cyclical value chain where plastic food packaging materials can be used where primarily virgin materials were utilized previously.”

NaturaPCR is the manufacturing arm of Houston-based Avangard Innovative. Avangard and its affiliated entities hold a collective minority equity position in the company, and Houston-based WM holds a controlling interest in Natura PCR, which operates as an independent company.