At this year’s Chinaplas—Asia’s largest plastics trade fair—the focus was largely on environmental protection, efficiency and automation.
Many Chinese and Asian attendees took the opportunity to showcase cutting edge plastics and plastics-related equipment and processes. DirectIndustry e-magazine talked to four plastics pioneers.
Until recently, many Asian plastics manufacturers—especially in China—operated on a low-tech, high-volume basis. Yet tougher market conditions and calls by the Chinese government for leaner, greener, higher-value production have seen an increasing number of manufacturers beginning investing in R&D, energy-efficient automated systems and the development of genuinely innovative materials.
The Plastics That Naturally Decompose
DI20-GRABIO-bagOf the approximately 400 million tons of plastic produced globally every year, China is responsible for over 60 million tons. Of this, the vast majority is petroleum-based. Yet a growing level of environmental awareness and concern for public health is now driving change.
Taiwanese biodegradable plastics manufacturer Grabio used this year’s Chinaplas to exhibit its fully biodegradable and compostable line of starch plastics. Unlike conventional plastics, Grabio’s products are naturally broken down by micro-organisms into carbon dioxide and water after a few months of exposure. Grabio president Arthur Wang says:
The fact that our plastics naturally decompose saves farmers the cost of having to retrieve them. Rather than petroleum-based components, we use renewable raw materials such as corn starch in production, with bio-based content ranging from 35% to nearly 60%.