D&L Industries Inc. said it expects to be a strong player in the eco-friendly plastic market as it unveils its “Biomate” and “Biorez” products for both plastic manufacturers and users.
Biomate, an additive developed by D&L unit First in Colours Inc. (FIC), can be added to plastics to make these biodegradable.
“With as little as 2 percent dosage of Biomate, single-use plastics produced from polyolefins can achieve over 90 percent biodegradation within two years. Most importantly, Biomate does not leave persistent microplastics unlike others. It is suitable for plastics used as primary packaging for perishable products such as meat, fish, fruits and vegetables,” said Lester Lao, FIC managing director.
Biorez is a compostable plastic developed by D&L Polymers & Colours Inc. (DLPC), also a D&L unit. It is a ready-to-use compound that can be instantly molded into various single-use plastic applications such as films, straws, cutlery, cups, etc.
Biorez, given proper environmental conditions in a composting facility, can achieve 90 percent biodegradation within six months.
“The end-product of this composting process is either high value fertilizer or biomass feedstock for electricity generation. It was recently reported that the Senate has earmarked funds for plastic recycling factories and composting facilities in the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) budget for 2020 with provisions that mandate the construction of composting facilities in all towns. This makes using compostable plastics and subsequent recycling more feasible,” said Lao who also sits as managing director for DLPC.
With the products, D&L is the only company in the Philippines that manufactures biodegradable plastics and additives that are internationally certified, said Lao.
“D&L has the capability to service the local plastic industry and even the export market should they decide to switch to more sustainable and biodegradable packaging materials,” he added.
Biomate uses certified biodegradable compound P-life as its active ingredient, certified by SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, a renowned international research body leading in the field of polymeric waste material.
Biomate also satisfies all the requirements of ASTM 6954, the American Standard for plastics biodegradability.
“In the Philippines, Biomate is verified by the Environmental Technological Verification division of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) (ETV 08-013) and is fully compliant with PNS 2104 (Philippine National Standard for biodegradable plastics),” said Lao.
Biorez on the other hand is recognized worldwide by the European Standard for biodegradable plastics. It has an international certification from DIN CERTCO, a Berlin-based organization that does conformity assessment based on various international standards.
It is also verified by the Environmental Technological Verification division of DOST (ETV 19-018) and is fully compliant with PNS 2102 (Philippine National Standard for compostable plastics).
“The potential ban on single-use plastics presents both challenges and opportunities to everyone in the industry. While this will likely put pressure on manufacturers of single-use plastics, there is a greater opportunity for us to increase our relevance to customers and provide innovative and higher value-added products,” Lao said.
“From a practical standpoint, however, it may not be possible to completely ban the use of single-use plastics instantly. This is true especially in medical, personal care, and other sectors where single-use plastics are necessary for sanitary and safety purposes. Plastic is a technological advancement that continues to play a crucial role in modern-day society.
We believe that educating people to properly dispose, sort, and segregate, is the key to address the negative environmental impact of single-use plastics. At the same time, plastics must be reduced, reused, and recycled,” he added.
Lao said the D&L group is committed to both research and development (R&D) and product innovation to achieve sustainable growth.
“One of our advocacies is to promote “green chemistry”. As part of this, our team, for years, has been proactively doing R&D works in the environment-friendly and sustainable plastic materials space. To date, we have successfully developed two proprietary product lines, Biomate and Biorez, which can provide solutions for companies to alleviate single-use plastic pollution in the country. These products make plastics biodegradable and are certified by international standards,” he said.
Alvin Lao, D&L president, said there is a big market for biodegradable plastics in the country “as the world shifts towards more sustainable and environment-friendly materials.”
“Over the long-term, we continue to innovate by investing in R&D as part of our strategy to stay ahead of the curve. In addition to biodegradable plastics, there are several other product developments in the pipeline that provide runway for growth,” he said.