First Quarter Issue

 

Biodegradable plastic now in RP

Biodegradable plastics

A NEW GENERATION OF PLASTIC materials that decomposes along with composting plants in less than a year was unveiled recently by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, and local counterpart Metals Industry Research and Development Center of the Department of Science and Technology.

The new biodegradable plastic offers an environment-friendly and cost-efficient option to industries and the government in resolving the perennial garbage problem in the country.

The biodegradable plastic’s raw materials come from renewable resource based biopolymers such as cellulose, corn, starch, and soy based plastics that is turned into powder form and mixed with a solution.

Government data show Metro Manila produces 600,000 tons of garbage everyday, 30 percent of which is identified to be plastic materials.  The mounting daily garbage output in the metropolis is projected to swell to 800,000 tons in 2010.

Combined with hemp or other biofibers , the biodegradable plastic is guaranteed to be as durable as the regular polyethylene terephthalate or PET plastics used as container for many food products including bottled water.  Yet it can easily be decomposed by breaking it down into its basic substances with the help of living organisms in composting plants.

PET plastics use petrochemical based raw materials.  With the soaring demand on petrofuel, prices of petrochemical byproducts are also on the upswing

Meanwhile, non-biodegrable or conventional plastics take a very long time to break down and are harmful to humans and the environment when not properly disposed. 

The technology to produce biodegradable plastic is being introduced in the Philippines through the help of NEDO-Japan.  The technology is now on its trial stage at the MIRDC facility in Bicutan, Tagig City.

This project is funded by NEDO-Japan in cooperation with MIRDC, leading plastic manufacturing leader Daiwa Plastic Co., Ltd., Matsuoka Institute of Technology, Kyoto Institute of Technology, and Kobe Steel Ltd.  STP  

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