MTEC-NSTDA, the Thai Bioplastics Industry Association (TBiA) and partner companies held a press conference on 13 November 2019 introducing biodegradable plastic bags for food waste, an innovation co-developed by MTEC-NSTDA and SMS Corporation. This biodegradable garbage bag will make its debut at the Annual Red Cross Fair 2019 to be held during 15 – 24 November 2019, at Lumpini Park, Bangkok.
The joint research between MTEC-NSTDA and SMS Corporation involved the development of bioplastic blend with enhanced engineering properties that can be processed into a thin film. The project was generously supported by local plastic industry, namely Total Corbion PLA (Thailand) and BASF (Thai) Limited supplying bioplastic pellets, SMS Corporation providing TAIPIOPLAST – the company’s starch plastic – and Thantawan Industry Public Company Limited supporting the blown film extrusion – the manufacturing process of plastic film. The bioplastic compound was developed to contain tapioca starch and can produce thin film with good film strength by conventional manufacturing process without the requirement for machine modification. The prototype bags produced for Red Cross Fair 2019 come in two sizes, an 18-inch garbage bag for food establishments and a 30-inch bag for 40 waste collection and separation sites located throughout the fair area. This biodegradable garbage bag is designed to decompose along with its food waste content.
One of the menacing environmental challenges at the global scale is plastic wastes. Thailand is the world's sixth biggest contributor of ocean wastes and these wastes are mainly attributed to single-use plastics which make up 40% of total plastic wastes. The Thai Government has formulated the Plastic Waste Management Road Map 2018-2030 and announced the plan to reduce and eliminate the use of seven types of single-use plastics.
One of the key elements of waste management is waste collection, which relies mainly on plastic containers, i.e. garbage bags. MTEC-NSTDA and TBiA therefore initiated a project to manufacture biodegradable garbage bag for food waste - based on bioplastic compound co-developed by MTEC and SMS Corporation – to be launched at Red Cross Fair 2019 in hope to promote the use of biodegradable plastics and support the circular economy.