22 September
The Future of Plastic

Many years ago, plastic was thought to be not environment friendly. However, increasing awareness and evolution in the technology sector has produced several new methods of plastic recycling that can overcome the environmental issues it causes. Today, it would not be wrong to say that the plastic industry has a bright future, because modern methods and strategies are allowing people and companies to recycle plastic more quickly and efficiently. Read on to find out about the future of plastic in great detail.    Use of Plastics in Large Organizations A considerable number of large corporations have agreed to reduce the quantity of single-use plastics in their products and services by using recyclable plastic. Many organizations, including world-leading brands like Coca-Cola, Starbucks, McDonald's and Nestlé, are setting up their own recycling plants to ensure maximum eco-friendly practices and working procedures.  In fact, many countries have already passed legislation that makes it necessary for companies to fulfil a certain criterion for implementing eco-friendly practices. Moreover, various research and surveys have concluded that the majority of the consumers now prefer brands offering sustainable and eco-friendly products over the ones that are still sticking with single-use plastic. It is not wrong for the customers to demand eco-friendly products and services because modern plastic recycling techniques allow every type of organization to implement its best customer-friendly and sustainable services. Large organizations, especially, have the required resources needed to handle such plastic recycling activities.   Why Plastic Recycling is Important? Recycling plastic is important to minimize waste accumulated in landfills and especially the ocean, causing massive levels of pollution. As plastic has applications in each and every department of the companies in one way or another, it is impossible for organizations to completely replace plastic with some alternative material. In such a complex situation, the best way for companies is to keep improving their recycling activities and ensuring minimum or no use of single plastic. In the last few years, the advancements in plastic recycling techniques have allowed people to find a middle ground and move towards a sustainable and eco-friendly future by recycling plastic.  The future of the plastics industry will be greatly influenced by the demands of the consumers as well. As more people are becoming conscious of their environmental footprint, more organizations are adopting recycling strategies to fulfil the evolving demands of its customers. For example, manufacturing and packaging companies have started using stretch films in their business operations to provide maximum security to the products, along with recycling the stretch films.     Modern Changes in Plastics Rapid and efficient recycling is the future of the plastics industry and has prompted scientists and innovators to rethink the plastics’ initial design in an effort to make it sustainable and safer. As a result, bioplastics have emerged as a highly popular type of plastic, because they are manufactured from plant crops instead of fossil fuels. The end-product is much more sustainable and eco-friendly than the traditional types of plastics. Similarly, the use of biodegradable plastics has also increased.  This shows that a lot of advancements are taking place in the plastic industry. Experts are continually looking for new ways to make the use of plastic and its recycling more efficient, quick and reliable. Most of the scientists and experts on plastics agree that recycling solutions currently present are not perfect, but with thorough research, investment and innovation, optimum recycling solutions can be developed.  Many scientists are focusing on different types of plastic recycling, because it is a very comprehensive term that includes various kinds of materials, like soft, hard, pliable, stretch films, conventional plastic bags and cups that people use on a daily basis. Most of them have their own specific way of recycling, so it important for the researchers to find the best suitable recycling solution for each type of plastic.   Thong Guan’s Efforts in Creating a Sustainable Use of Plastics   The current trends in the plastic industry show that recycling is going to become more important than ever. In this regard, Thong Guan Industries Berhad has implemented several strategies in line with the Malaysian government efforts to create an environment-friendly and sustainable plastic industry, such as the following:  1. Reduction in the use of plastic straws2. Zero single-use plastics3. Cleaner plastics for recyclability via waste separation at source4. The use of sustainable and compostable bio bags will soon phase out typical plastic bags   In a Nutshell  Due to customers' demand and strict legislation, we believe more and more organizations will begin to focus on recycling plastic and adopting eco-friendly types of plastics. The good thing is that scientists are always looking for better and quicker recycling solutions, so it can be expected that the plastic industry will keep implementing eco-friendly practices and reliable recycling procedures.      

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22 September
How Can We Reduce The Environmental Effects Of Packaging

Every individual and business should use available opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of various products and packaging. The trend of using eco-friendly packaging has greatly increased in the last few years because many organizations and countries, including Malaysia, are trying to reduce packaging waste. Stretch films are one of the most efficient forms of packaging and can play a vital role in reducing the environmental effects of packaging.    The importance of these steps cannot be understated because an eco-friendly and circular economy has great potential for reaching new heights of success.   The primary factor of safe and eco-friendly packaging is the material. It should be eco-friendly and minimal weight. You can find many types of packaging that fulfil this purpose without impacting the performance. Moreover, you will also have to consider the material’s dimensions and style to facilitate pallet loading and reduce transport requirements. Stretch films are one of the most efficient packaging materials in Malaysia because they have less weight and reduce wastage as well. They can also be easily used for pallet loading that ultimately reduces the storage and transportation cost. Stretch films are completely recyclable, which makes them an efficient modern packaging solution.  Versatility is also a noteworthy aspect of stretch films because it can be used to wrap various kinds of products in different industries. Stretch films are an eco-friendly and cost-saving alternative to many other packaging solutions currently available in the market. Even in stretch films, you can find a variety of films, heavy-gauge films, banding films, or traditional roll wraps. Most of them are completely recyclable and allow businesses to smoothly conduct their daily operations without being impacted by their packing material choice. Similarly, stretch films help to protect the material during transportation and storage. Bubble wraps are also commonly used during the shipping of fragile and costly items. However, industries should replace them with stretch films because they provide maximum transit protection. Moreover, stretch films can be used to ship frozen products like meat, chocolates, and other chilled products.   Other benefits of stretch films include 1. Undoubtedly, space is very important for any factory, storage, and warehouse. Stretch films help save space because you will securely and tightly wrap the products that will reduce clutter. Moreover, quick and efficient pallet shipping will be done, which will reduce the accumulation of the items in one place.  2. Stretch films in Malaysia increase the overall efficiency and time management of the companies and production facilities. If the employees are using another form of packaging, it is highly likely that a lot of time is allocated to packing and wrapping the items. On the other hand, a stretch wrap machine can do this task very quickly. Along with quickness, you will also get the maximum accurate and precise wrapping. 3. If you want the items to remain safe from dirt, dust, moisture, and other pollutants, you should consider using stretch films to package them. As a result, the products will be safely transported. 4. Using the stretch films, you will dramatically cut down the plastic waste generated from your organization, warehouse, or storage facility. Moreover, by recycling, the businesses will cut down their pallet wrapping costs.  5. By using recyclable stretch films in Malaysia, it means you are being a responsible citizen of the country and helping to accomplish the goal of being a green and eco-friendly economy. 6. Stretch films are 100% recyclable and around 50% lighter than other packaging materials.    In a Nutshell  Stretch films are capable of providing a myriad of advantages and features while reducing the environmental impacts of packaging. Packaging your items in stretch films will greatly enhance your packaging efficiency and reduce costs. Moreover, it is much better than getting all-in-one boxes or containers that are not as easily recyclable. Ultimately, you will be saving a lot of space and cost while protecting the environment by using recyclable and sustainable stretch films in Malaysia.   

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02 September
Closing the Loop: What Happens to Plastic Waste?

Have you wondered what happens to plastic waste? Plastic recycling is the process of recovering scrap plastic or waste. It will be reprocessed into working and useful products that people can use again. It is a vital process for the circular economy. It prolongs the life of plastic to serve an extended and broader purpose. The main reasons why recycling plastic is essential: Firstly, so that we can reduce plastic pollution. A research done in 2018 suggested that 359 million tons of plastics were produced that year alone. Nearly one-third of it went to single-use packaging. Fewer than 10% was recycled. The remaining went to landfills to be incinerated—adding to emissions and increasing air pollution. Some are left uncollected. Almost 8 million tons makes its way to the ocean via waterways. Secondly, we depend less on non-renewable materials. Virgin materials often come from precious unrenewable sources. It is unsustainable to use such valuable resources, only to use it once and left forgotten. Thirdly, we certainly don't want more plastics than fish in the sea by 2050. A report by Project MainStream shows us that Plastic has increased 20-fold in the past 50 years worldwide. It is foreseen to double again in the next 20 years.  By 2050, we’ll be creating more than three times as much plastics than 2014. While all these realities are true, there are also excellent recycling efforts around the world. Recycling helps to conserve precious resources. It diverts plastics from landfills or unintended destinations such as our ocean. Many countries have joined in the fight towards recycling to preserve our environment. They have built a culture around it so that brand owners, stakeholders, manufacturers, food producers, and even end-users are aware and involved in its process. They realize the importance of their role towards closing the loop on the circular economy. We will look at some later. Which Plastics Are Recyclable? There are several types of plastic categories. Here are some conventional products from its range - PS (Polystyrene) – Example: plastic cutlery, containers, foam hot drink cups, and yogurt containers - PP (Polypropylene) – Example: take-away food containers, meal boxes, ice cream containers - LDPE (Low-density polyethylene) – Example: bags and garbage bins - HDPE (High-density polyethylene) – Example: milk bottles or shampoo containers - PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) – Example: soft drink and fruit juice bottles However, for plastics to be recycled, it must be in a clean, non-contaminated state. Only when waste is sanitary, it can be reprocessed back into the economy. It returns as another product, prolonging its life in the marketplace. If plastic categories are mixed together during waste collection, it is considered contaminated and cannot be recycled all together.    The process of recycling plastics and the circular economy model What happens to the plastic waste we throw out? Check out these plastic recycling process steps from the infographic below.   Image taken from: The circular economy for plastics report via PlasticsEurope The plastics circular economy is a model for a closed system to follow. It generates value from waste, promotes the reuse of plastic products, and avoids recoverable plastics to end up in landfills. Plastic waste is a valuable resource. It can be recycled to produce plastic parts and products. When recycling is not viable, it can also be used to generate energy. Presently, the plastics industry is exploring alternatives to replace fossil sources with renewable resources and carbon dioxide. Recycled plastics carbon footprint can be up to 4 times lower than virgin plastics.  This effort is to provide new value from product design to various methods of recycling plastic waste by converting more waste into recyclables. It maximizes resource efficiency and reduces greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.   What Happens to Plastic Waste Around the World? Japan Image source: https://phys.org/news/2019-06-japan-town-recycle.html ● Japan is one of the first countries to jump into recyclable and biodegradable plastics. ● PET bottles are used to produce high-quality polyester and artificial fabrics. Employees Asahi Breweries are known to wear uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles. ● In June 2011, Aeon Co announced the use of sugarcane-based polyethylene plastic grocery bags at their outlets. Supermarkets sell these bags at five yen apiece at all their 750 outlets. ● The Japanese education system teaches children to segregate waste from young.   Australia ● There are 193 material recovery facilities in Australia. While most are hand-sorted, nine are semi-automated, and nine are fully automated. ● Creatively, plastics are turned into roads! It derives from "plastiphalt" bitumen and sand from ground-up glass. Plastiphalt is cost-competitive, lasts longer and could better handle heavy traffic. (Old Princes Highway in Engadin, a 250-meter long section was recently built out of plastic waste) ● Outdoor furniture, build schools, and even playgrounds are also built through plastic recycling technology. ● Turning recycled plastic into oil - Dr Lens Humphreys, chief executive of Licella, has invented Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (Cat-HTR) to do this via chemical recycling, Plastics are converted at a molecular level into oil through intense heat. It can then be altered into bitumen, petrol, or back into different kinds of plastics.   New Zealand Image source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/103493358/bottle-buyback-scheme-could-be-making-a-comeback ● The New Zealand Plastic Packaging Declaration commits them to use 100% recyclable, reusable, or compostable packaging by 2025 or earlier. Several organizations have already signed up, including Foodstuffs and Countdown (including SuperValue and Fresh Choice). ● National Waste Data Framework - Developed by WasteMINZ (Waste Management Institute of NZ) provides a standard for the collection of data at its end of life. It helps gather data to be better at recycling innovations and efforts. ● Phasing-out of single-use plastic shopping bags. The government announced a proposal to phase out single-use plastic shopping bags by mid-2019. ● Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme - This interesting voluntary recycling scheme is led by the packaging industry. Citizens can drop off soft plastic at participating stores to be collected for reprocessing.   Mexico Image source: https://edition.cnn.com/2012/06/19/world/americas/mexico-city-barter-scheme/index.html ● Mexico City is going to war on plastic waste. Since charging for carrier bags, now also banning several single-use plastic items like plastic cutlery, straws, cups, and even balloons. ● Leaders of Mexico's plastics industry are in discussion with federal lawmakers and civic leaders to plan plastic waste management in a feasible and environmentally friendly way. ● Zero Waste shops (with no package used) have also been set up where customers reuse bought plastics. They are located mostly in big cities and are growing beyond cities too.   ● Trash for food - A new barter type of market is helping residents trade their trash for food. Participants get vouchers that can be exchanged at a nearby farmers' market. ● Infrastructural investment, prompt legislative measures, and environmental consciousness of the Mexicans work together to contribute to reducing plastic pollution.   Malaysia Image source: Thong Guan’s internal recycling efforts ● Malaysian government discourages the giving out of plastic bags and straws. Customers are encouraged to bring their food container or the food business operator at fixed premises ● Zero single-use plastics 2018-2030 roadmap incorporates brand owners, regional cooperation, manufacturers, and the general public towards sustainability ● Promote cleaner plastics for recyclability - More education and plastic recycling research will be shared about waste separation at source ● Biobags – sustainable and compostable bio bags are planned to phase out typical plastic bags. It is derived from plants, vegetable oils, and compostable polymers ● Federal pollution levy on plastic manufacturers - This proposed collection will fund redressing plastic pollution, research, and development (R&D) on eco-friendly alternatives, and even incentives to manufacturers   Consume, Reuse, and Recycle. The road towards closing the circular economy is no easy task. Now that you know what happens to plastic waste, all parties need to work together to make this a success.   When more clean waste is gathered, more waste can go through the recycling process again. It renews shelf life to these plastics for another round of usage--promoting the process of looping the circular economy. Brand owners, manufacturers, fresh food producers must find means to educate end-users on recycling methods. Let them know that what they do is essential for the environment and for their future too. It is just a matter of collection, and we need to build a culture around it. Join TG RE:DO as we close the plastic loop. Together, we can do our part for a better tomorrow. Contact us at info@thongguan.com for more info.   

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19 August
Renewable Resins: Is Plastic from Trees the Answer?

Do you know that plastics can be made from renewable organic materials? This is nothing new in the market.  However, it is gradually becoming a reality because it provides a solution to an increasingly environmentally-aware marketplace.  The economy chain from industrial manufacturers, logistic companies, and even food and beverage brand owners commonly depend on plastics like Polypropylene (PP) and Polyethylene (PE). It is extensively produced for everyday processes. It is commonly found in food packaging, wraps, and plastic bags, which is part of our daily lives and commercial operations.  Plastics are made from limited fossil fuel. Therefore, it is not sustainable to totally depend on it.  However, what if plastic could be made from trees and also organic feedstock instead of depleting finite sources? The good news is that bioplastics are being researched and developed further for advanced plastic packaging usability. Bioplastics have the same physical and chemical properties as regular plastic, except they are not made from fossil resources. They are formed mainly from renewable biomass resources coming from natural green origins.    The Benefits of Bioplastics When you use bioplastic, you are cautiously conserving non-renewable organic resources. These fossil resources took up ages to form, and the modern world is currently depleting them rapidly. The usage of bioplastics reduces greenhouse gas emissions. This is because bio-based materials produce significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions than traditional plastics over their lifetime. When broken down, there is no net increase in carbon dioxide released in the environment. This is because the plants (made from bioplastics) had already absorbed that same volume of carbon dioxide during their growths so there is no additional discharge. Globally, the plastics industry produces 3.8% of all greenhouse gases. That is nearly double the aviation industry. If there were a 25% decrease in petroleum feedstock usage, it would be equivalent to reducing greenhouse gas emission of 16.5 million passenger cars produced in one year!  Bioplastics reduce carbon emissions and footprint as it uses restorable resources to produce renewable resins. Therefore, utilizing organic feedstock protects and preserves our precious environment. However, traditional plastics stay in landfills for a long time (landfills are one of the biggest man-made methane gas sources).  By using bioplastics, you are doing your part to be more socially responsible.    What organic feedstock can replace fossil fuels?  What is organic feedstock? Feedstock is any unprocessed resource used to supply a manufacturing process. In chemistry, a feedstock is a chemical used to support large-scale chemical reactions. The term usually applies to an organic substance. Renewable feedstocks or also known as biomass is a game changer for the better. It can be defined as a natural resource that can replenish itself within a timeframe.  Biomass is produced in nature. Plants use sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into organic compounds, of which 75% is carbohydrate-based with an empirical formula of C6H12O6.  There are a few categories for renewable organic feedstocks.  Among them are from starch (potatoes) and protein (wheat gluten and soy) and Lipid derived polymers (from plant and animal derived oils and fats).  These organic sustainable materials make a fitting substitute for fossil fuel resources.   Types of organic feedstocks You can use different types of organic raw ingredients to make plastics. It is 100 percent recyclable so you can manage your waste process using these innovative organic alternatives.  Here is a list of feedstock that you can use.  Corn  - Fermented plant starch from corn is made into Polylactic acid (PLA)—a substitute for plastic raw ingredients- PLA is “carbon neutral” - Originates from renewable, carbon-absorbing plants - PLA also doesn't emit toxic fumes when destroyed- Usually used for bottles, plastic bags, and even even medical devices (e.g. screws, rods, pins, and plates that can biodegrade within 6-12 months)- Cons: ○ Inability to mix with other plastics in recycling ○ Has a slow rate of biodegradability○ Dependency on genetically altered corn to provide more yield Sugarcane - Ethanol from sugarcane substitutes petroleum - Makes eco-friendly plastics suitable even for industrial use- Generates far less dioxide carbon emissions during production to fossil fuel production - Coca-Cola first launched the PlantBottle in 2009 using Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaged containers made with Brazilian sugarcane (source: https://www.coca-colacompany.com/sustainable-business/packaging-sustainability)- Other businesses with bioplastic packaging efforts: Nestlé, Heinz, Danone, Pantene, Johnson&Johnson, and Ecover Potatoes  - Potato Plastic is a biodegradable substance- Made from Amylopectin and Amylose that originates from potato starch- Decompose fast (in 2 months) into nutrients for the soil when disposed of- Washable, reusable, and compostable- Potato Plastic is also used for products such as straws, and even salt bags.- SpudWare uses this innovation to make plastic cutlery—80% potato starch and 20% soy oil- SpudWare’s plastic cutlery is strong with good heat-resistant that biodegrades in six months   Plastic from Trees—the wood stock  Do you know that plastic could come from trees too? When trees are processed into commodities, it creates a byproduct called wood chips. These byproducts can be made into tall oil.  The oil is then used to produce a bio-based polyethylene portfolio using bio-naphtha (a byproduct of paper pulp production). These are part of the tree that goes to waste if not utilized.  Compared to other renewable feedstocks, tall oil is more sustainable. It is a secondary product from selected trees that are in process to make products like paper and cupboards. It doesn't take up additional resources, disrupts the food chain and makes full use of the processing of trees. There is no need to specially make more land or divert another source from the food chain to obtain wood chips to produce tall oil.  Moreover, all materials are sourced from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) approved or sustainably managed forest that doesn’t affect forest reserves.  Here is a video by Sally Le Page, an advocate of #teamtrees that talks in detail about it:  For the first time in the Asia Pacific, DOW has collaborated with Thong Guan to use biobased PE resins produced from organic tall oil. This birthed the Nano-Bio stretch film range, a sustainable series of bioplastic produced by state-of-the-art nanotechnology.  Besides being environmentally friendly, it ensures pallet load stability and curtails damages and accidents during transportation.  By using wood produce and other organic feedstock, you are using resins that comes from renewable sources which help preserve precious finite resources.    Conclusion While it is not feasible to eliminate petroleum-based plastics, using renewable resins to product plastic will help preserve our fossil resources.  Choosing alternative biopolymers derived from plant-based sources is a step towards this goal.  David Ang, sales and marketing general manager of Thong Guan Industries, talks about this as well. “Sustainability is not just a buzzword. At Thong Guan, our commitment is not solely on our products, but also in our processes and daily consumptions. It is our unequivocal commitment to protect our home, reduce carbon footprint, and innovate our way towards an ecological balance for our future generations.” As for now, the opportunity is in our hands. We invite you to choose renewable sourced plastics to help save our environment together. To find out more, contact us at info@thongguan.com.  

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14 August
TG POWER WRAP SDN. BHD. Earns USDA Certified Biobased Product Label

SG LALANG, . (July 22, 2020) — TG POWER WRAP SDN. BHD. announced today that it has earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased Product label. BioPurewrap is now able to display a unique USDA label that highlights its percentage of biobased content. Third-party verification for a product's biobased content is administered through the USDA BioPreferred Program, an initiative created by the 2002 Farm Bill (and recently reauthorized by the 2018 Farm Bill). One of the goals of the BioPreferred Program is to increase the development, purchase and use of biobased products. The USDA Certified Biobased Product label displays a product's biobased content, which is the portion of a product that comes from a renewable source, such as plant, animal, marine, or forestry feedstocks. Utilizing renewable, biobased materials displaces the need for non-renewable petroleum-based chemicals. Biobased products, through petroleum displacement, have played an increasingly important role in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that exacerbate global climate change. Biobased products are cost-comparative, readily available, and perform as well as or better than their conventional counterparts. "We applaud TG POWER WRAP SDN. BHD. for earning the USDA Certified Biobased Product label," said Kate Lewis, USDA BioPreferred Program. "Products from TG POWER WRAP SDN. BHD. are contributing to an ever-expanding marketplace that adds value to renewable agriculture commodities, creates jobs in rural communities, and decreases our reliance on petroleum." According to a report that USDA released in July 2019, biobased products contributed $459 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016 (a 17% increase from 2014) and support, directly and indirectly, 4.6 million jobs. The report's research team estimates the reduction of fossil fuels and associated GHG emissions from biobased products equivalent to approximately 12 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) prevented as of 2016. The increased production of renewable chemicals and biobased products contributes to the development and expansion of the U.S. bioeconomy - where society looks to agriculture for sustainable sources of fuel, energy, chemicals, and products. About the USDA BioPreferred Program and Certified Biobased Product label The BioPreferred Program is a USDA-led initiative that assists the development and expansion of markets for biobased products. The BioPreferred Program is transforming the marketplace for biobased products through two initiatives: mandatory purchasing requirements for Federal Agencies and Federal contractors and voluntary product certification and labeling. Biobased products span a diverse range of applications, such as lubricants, cleaning products, chemicals and bioplastics. The USDA Certified Biobased Product label communicates a product's biobased content. Expressed as a percentage, biobased content is the ratio of non-fossil organic carbon (new organic carbon) to total organic carbon in a product. New organic carbon is derived from recently-created materials. The total organic carbon in a product consists of new organic carbon and old organic carbon that originates from fossil carbon materials, such as petroleum, coal, or natural gas. More than 3,500 products have earned the USDA Certified Biobased Product label. To learn more about the USDA Certified Biobased Product label please visit www.biopreferred.gov, and follow on Twitter at @BioPreferred.

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03 August
How Can Businesses Save Money When Shipping?

A lot of businesses, especially small ones, find it challenging to minimize their shipping costs. Similarly, if a company delivers a large number of goods on a daily basis (like Amazon or FedEx), it needs to spend a significant portion of its budget on shipping procedures. If the shipping costs are not adequately maintained and strategized, they can significantly reduce your profits. All types of businesses, to lower delivery costs and earn more profits, should efficiently perform the shipping and delivery of parcels –parcel management. Modern shipping techniques and technology allow businesses to adopt quick and cost-efficient shipping methods, like pallet shipping, using excellent stretch films available in Malaysia. Let’s learn about these important strategies that can help you save money while shipping.   1. Suitable Packaging There are many types of packaging available that are suitable for different materials. For example, if the items are fragile, you should leave about two inches of space for safety and have sufficient bubble wrap around them. Pallet stretch films are considered to be one of the safest types of packaging because they are durable and minimize the chances of shipping damage. Using the right type of packaging can be the make-or-break factor in saving shipping costs because you will not have to pay for unnecessary boxes. Moreover, if you use boxes for shipping, you will have to use a strong, heavy-duty tape to seal the packages for safety, increasing your delivery costs. Instead, if you wrap the packages in stretch wrap, you will not have to spend money on buying any additional items, like tape. Small and regular boxes can be used for small deliveries instead of heavy packaging boxes that result in high parcel costs.   2. Recycling Stretch films are one of the most popular packaging options around the world, including Malaysia, because they are recyclable. You should implement the same type of strategy with all types of packaging. For example, if your business receives a lot of goods, you should carefully unpack these boxes and store them for later use. Ensure that the boxes are not damaged while unboxing; hence, you can use the same boxes for shipping regular items. This will save you a lot of money. However, it is important to note that recycling and reusing boxes is not feasible for every kind of item. For maximum safety of premium and fragile items, you need to buy new boxes. It is also important that you maintain an up-to-date record of shipping and track how much money you are spending on your shipping operations.   3. Stop Buying Expensive Packaging Materials Most businesses are so focused on finding shipping partners and new packaging material that they often forget that there are some really good and inexpensive packaging materials that may be used for shipping. Pallet stretch films are a safe material and one of the most cost-efficient solutions to numerous shipping problems. To reduce shipping costs, stop buying expensive packaging materials and say “no” to materials that are expensive and harmful to the environment. You should adopt stretch films for your business in Malaysia because they are much more cost-efficient than materials like heat shrink films or strapping, plus they consume less time and energy, which speeds up the shipping process. Also, they are versatile, safe and easy and may be used for packing almost anything.   4. Pallet Shipping Pallet shipping is sending several boxes or packages to another location by stacking the parcels on a pallet and sending them as one shipment. It will dramatically reduce the time - and especially the shipping cost - because you will not have to send the packages one by one. Moreover, the packages will be safe, because they will be delivered as one shipment instead of being separated during transit.   Stretch films are typically used to give extra safety to the boxes. A significant advantage of pallet shipping is that you can use it to ship both lightweight and heavyweight items. Every business should adopt pallet shipping to cut shipping costs; however, the company must be familiar with preparing packages for this type of shipping with pallet stretch films to maximize safety and cost-efficiency.    In a Nutshell  Shipping is a significant and regular part of the majority of businesses, which makes it essential to adopt the best shipping practices to ensure the safe delivery of products at a minimum cost of the company. It is a continuous process, as you should always be looking for the latest and least expensive way of shipping your products to help meet your bottom line. If you follow the strategies discussed above, you will definitely enjoy a considerable decrease in shipping costs, and hence, you will have more profits.         

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29 July
Recycling Stretch Films and Sustainability: How You Can Embrace the Circular Economy

Did you know that all stretch films are recyclable? Although recycling stretch film is not something new, few may know this. The general idea about plastic generally ends up as barren wastes. In the commercial line, most F&B, product manufacturers and distribution centers know that stretch film is primarily used in packaging to secure and keep goods secure until it reaches the end consumers.  Stretch wrap is made from linear low-density polyethylene or also known as LLDPE.  Generally, we know stretch film as the material that secures the pallets of individual pallet load. Pallets stretch wrap is used by product manufacturers and distributors to bind shipping cartons to pallets that are going to warehouses or distribution centres. It is also utilized to wrap pallets that will be sent to outlets or customers. Stretch wrap perhaps makes up a sizable part of the warehouse or distribution centre's waste stream. By reducing stretch film from the waste stream, companies and manufacturers can decrease the volume of plastic segregation work, which saves cost and manpower hours.  Moreover, less wastage drastically reduces CO2 emissions, plastic contamination and minimizes marine (microplastics in seafood for human consumption) and land pollution by reusing plastic material repeatedly.  Additionally, it can also significantly help reduce annual trash bills too.  Driven by cost reduction initiatives, social pressure, general awareness, and supplier records tracked by mass retailers, manufacturers now have a greater motivation to reduce plastic-based packaging and move towards green packaging.  Green packaging is using renewable content in packaging materials. Renewable content denotes the use of natural and bio-based resources that can be replenished through a natural process.  Therefore, do not treat used stretch film as throw-away waste.  Can stretch film be recycled?  Here are 4 reasons why recycling stretch film is essential for your business and what you can do about it.  1. It Is Costly to Dispose of Plastic Packaging Waste We know that stretch wrap is easily amassed in a warehouse or distribution center's waste stream. Those that do not recycle stretch wrap waste spend a lot to have it disposed of with the rest of the trash. A large distribution warehouse or center can quickly generate a considerable amount of stretch wrap waste annually. This can be quite heavy on the bottom line. Firstly, there is the expenditure of hauling waste to the disposal site. There is generally a fixed charge every time a trash container is collected.  Secondly, there is also the tipping charge at the disposal site.  However, disposal costs may vary depending on the region of the country you are in. Fees are calculated by per-ton and may range from USD $20 (RM85) to USD $100 (RM425) or more. Plastic waste from stretch films is then recycled and goes back into the production line as another product in the market.  As most stretch film uses 100% virgin resins as its raw material, it allows the flexibility of reconverting and repurposing as another plastic product or as stretch film again.  This prolongs its raw material lifeline and loops it back into the system, creating a circular economy.  source: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/blog/post/circular-economy-toolkit-small-businesses   2. Recycling Green Packaging Can Be a Revenue Recycling stretch wrap presents an attractive alternative to disposal. Not only would it save you money, but your plastic waste could also be a revenue stream for you too.  These days, there are more ready markets that are looking for pure material. Many recycling firms are especially interested in working with businesses with clean plastic waste like stretch film to recycle these materials.  Besides that, it is also quite easy to retrieve and recover stretch wrap for recycling. When goods are delivered at the dock, the stretch film protecting it will usually be in a reasonably clean, uncontaminated state.  When kept that way, it has a good market value.  In fact, weight for weight, stretch wrap may be the most valuable scrap material a warehouse or distribution center can recover and profit from.   3. Brand Owners Will Appreciate Your Green Efforts During the research for "New Plastics Economy,” the 2014 National Postconsumer Plastic Bag & Film Recycling Report, it was shown that there is a steady increase in the rate of post-consumer film recovery in support of recycling.  This indicates the increasing level of customer recognition about the recyclability of plastic for a sustainable environment.  It is better to make the change now. Your efforts affect the brand owner's perception and shapes their purchasing decisions—leading to your bottom line.  This is the time to come together to save our Earth. As a brand owner or primary user of stretch film, you would want to play a big part in saving the planet and sustainability too.  You would want to work with suppliers who always have green or sustainable initiatives, where recycling is highly encouraged. Brands are also looking to work with suppliers or recyclers that use post-consumer waste, recycled materials, or post-industrial waste to be reprocessed in their product.  Big brand companies that use a lot of plastic have also begun to speak out. Unilever is one of them. They confirmed that by 2025, they will halve their usage of virgin plastic, by reducing its absolute use of plastic packaging by around 100,000 tons. They will also accelerate their use of recycled plastic too. Since brand owners are moving to suitable packaging, it is just a matter of time for distribution centers and warehouses to follow suit as well.    4. Recycling Stretch Film Waste Can Be Done In-house or Outsourced Too To recycle used stretch film, you can also set up an internal system for your organization too. This is where you could pull stretch film waste and reprocess it back to resins that will be used to manufacture other products.  However, this may incur a lot of costs and the lengthy allocation of space, management, systems, equipment, and manpower.  Alternatively, you may look for 3rd party plastic melters but it is not a sustainable economy to ensure circularity.  Thong Guan is your one-stop recycling solution, especially when looking to recycle stretch film in Malaysia.  At Thong Guan, we offer well-rounded solutions in efforts to help you close the loop. if you buy stretch films from us, we offer a buyback of your wastes to be melted down and go back to resins. A percentage of the recycled resins will be the composite of new stretch films for you. This way, you can proudly say you are participating in the circular economy in helping to conserve our only habitat. Thong Guan total end-to-end solution will:  1. Supply your stretch film needs  2. Help process post-usage by collecting your waste via our strategic recycler partners 3. Process your waste into stable recycled resins  4. Transform these resins to produce high quality repurposed products that will serve another lifespan in the economy. (for example, garbage bags or flexible packaging) When you recycle your stretch film waste, you are contributing your part to developing the circular economy. You become part of closing wastage gaps so that your product can have many more rounds in the market as other products.    How Reliable Is Recycled Stretch Film? We know that reusing recycled film waste will help save the environment and add towards building the circular economy. However, one may question its quality assurance especially since it is used to protect precious goods.  Recyclers, brand owners, and manufacturers are able to obtain proven reports from companies that are able to test their quality, durability, and compatibility. Dynamic labs such as Newton Research and Development Sdn Bhd have the right technology to test recycled stretch films. These stretch films will go through pallet load stability and safety tests through real-life simulations to ensure its quality.  Brand owners and manufacturers would then be assured and trust their goods are handled safely when using stretch film with recycled content. How Do I Start?   How Do I Start? If you plan to join Thong Guan in upholding the circular economy, follow these steps; 1. Educate employees who will oversee the program. 2. Establish and design a collection and processing system. 3. Contact a recycling company for help and to arrange pick-up. 4. Use a waste sorting program. At Thong Guan, we are a manufacturer that recycles our stretch film here in Malaysia. Our goal is to achieve a circular economy where plastics are reused back as raw material that can be reproduced again. Though still a long way to go, but small steps towards our goal is better than none. All parties must work together to save our planet.  Thong Guan's mission is to strive towards closing the material loop, and we would like to invite you to work collectively with us towards this goal. To find out more, contact us at info@thongguan.com.   

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14 July
The Misconception of Plastic Packaging Environmental Impact and What You Can Do About It

There are a lot of discussions about plastic packaging and its impact on the environment these days. Industries are now facing tremendous public pressure to go green. Communities are growing more concerned about plastic usage and its effects on the world.  Historically, plastics existed in the 19th century to help communities make available useful everyday products.  Inventors and chemists were already developing everyday household items such as combs from brittle. The early form of plastic was first called Parkesine. It was later renamed celluloid, due to the plant cellulose from which it was sourced.  However, as time progressed, plastic gained a lot of bad press due to its effect on the environment. In 2016, there wasa Greenpeace petition for a UK-wide plastic microbead ban that hit 365,000 signatures within four months. Eventually, this became the most significant environmental petition ever presented to its government.  Even royal members like Prince Charles have given enthusiastic speeches about the dangers of plastic, while celebrities like Kim Kardashian have posted on Instagram about the “plastic crisis,” and also claim to have given up straws. Yet despite the social impact of packaging, plastic is still an essential need—especially beyond the consumer’s world. There are crucial packaging processes before any product reaches its end users. Plastic packaging helps safeguard and preserve goods. At the same time, its lightweight characteristics reduce weight during transits, saves fuel costs, and minimizes greenhouse gas discharges. Without the aid of plastic, food will not be as affordable as it should be. The freshness in commercial packaging would also be questionable. Manufacturing and logistics companies would have to restructure the security and protection of their goods. Not only that, but even consumers will also see more damage in their everyday grocery shopping items and there may be health-related issues on the rise too.  Let us look at some of the general misconceptions of plastic packaging usage and its impact on the environment.    Misconception #1: Plastic Packaging Is A Threat to The Environment Yes, plastics are artificially created with (synthetic) chemicals. It is man-made and does not seem to go well with nature. However, if one were to remove the use of plastic from their life forever, they would only reduce 0.4 percent of their own carbon emissions. As for plastic waste in our ocean, statistically, plastic straws are found to account for 0.03% of total waste. However, can we do away with plastic packaging when it helps us to protect our assets from our distribution centers to our endpoint?  Plastic is also the main element that helps keep food safe and preserved for consumption. It protects and keeps food fresh during the supply process until it reaches the end shoppers. Ultimately it benefits consumers in terms of health and their own safety. Therefore, the issue does not solely lie with plastic being a threat, but how plastic waste is managed until another solution is found.    Misconception #2: Paper Packaging Will Replace Plastic  While this might sound like an excellent idea, there is more than meets the eye. Producing paper, especially for packaging purposes, requires significantly more cost and resources involved.  Compared to plastic, paper requires four times as much energy and three times the amount of water for its production. Its dense properties also make it heavier and bulkier, so more fuel and logistic arrangements are needed just for transport. To clearly illustrate this, paper requires seven trucks to move two million paper bags, whereas only one vehicle is needed to deliver the same amount of plastic ones. The other disadvantage of paper is its bulk. Though it breaks down faster as compared to plastic, it does take a lot of space, which would not be an excellent sustainable idea for the environment and community living.   A study done by Professor David Tyler from the University of Oregon in America concluded that the carbon footprint of a plastic bag is less than a paper or cotton bag. This is due to its water usage and pollution factors. He also discovered that increased paper usage causes deforestation, air pollution, water pollution, and waste. Misconception #3: Plastic Is Just “Use and Throw”  Usually, when people talk about “use and throw,” they are referring to single-use plastics. These plastics include products like straws, wrappers, bottles, and bags. These items are usually discarded quickly after the first use.  However, it is a very different scenario in the industrial trade process. Plastic usage is essential when it comes to packaging and safeguarding the quality of goods. Without plastic, there will be many damaged items and material wastages along the way. This increases production costing, which would affect pricing and profit generation.  Instead of single “use and throw” usage, find ways how plastics can be creatively reused. Change your consumer’s perception of repurposing your product packaging in ways they can reuse them in their daily life. In this way, plastic packaging will not immediately end up in some rubbish landfill but would be more valuable to end-users.   Plastic, as for now, is cheap, durable, and easy to transport. It makes perfect sense for commercial usage and decreases carbon footprints for plastic packaging environmental impact. Until another alternative is found, plastic packaging would still be the best way to support this process.    Misconception #4: Plastics Cannot Be Recycled  We are used to seeing plastic as litter. However, it has a longer lifespan than expected.   Durable plastic can be recycled at the end of use, typically for a maximum of six times. However, its fibers lessen each time it is recycled. This means after going through several cycles, it is no longer recyclable. Before it has reached its usability lifespan, it is usually repurposed as bottle caps, hardy containers, or integrated with fabric materials for clothing wears. Therefore, it is essential to use the right type of plastic so that it can be recycled to be readapted to serve more usages.    Misconception #5: Plastics will be banned in the future  Since plastic is deemed to be harmful, it would be banned in the future, right?  However, this would be challenging as plastic is still widely used in packaging because of its low cost and efficiency. There seems to be no suitable material able to replace it yet.  Here at Thong Guan, we are now researching feedstock recycling solutions and introducing bio-based alternative raw materials for renewal-based plastic so that we can play our part in protecting our environment.  Solution - Playing Your Part In conclusion, what then could be the solution to plastic packaging to reduce its environmental impact? The move to reduce plastics can only speed up when all players in the industry, including brand owners, manufacturers, retailers, and even consumers, do their part to eventually replace the use of plastic.  Investments in research and alternative materials can help businesses restrategize plans for alternative plastic packaging. It advocates the discovery and usage of other methods for packaging and brings positive changes to the environment too.  It is essential to know and choose the right type of plastic packaging to use. Here is a list of sustainable-made plastic materials to consider:  - Bioplastics: Made from natural raw materials such as tall oil and corn starch- Biodegradable Plastics: Made from traditional petrochemicals. They are engineered to disintegrate more quickly- Eco/recycled Plastics: These are plastics made from recycled plastic materials rather than raw petrochemicals. Minimize your own plastic footprint in your business practices and encourage others to follow too. There is no better place to start than your own premises. It demonstrates to others that you are responsible and have a clear stand on your part in nature conservation.  Plastic packaging is not going away anytime soon because it still brings so much benefit to the industrial world. Even though there may be a lot of misconceptions about it, we need to acknowledge that plastic is not just an isolated problem that we can exclude from our businesses. Exploring and using alternative materials, waste management, and the willingness to change makes tomorrows difference           

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25 June
Printed stretch films: Pros and Cons

If you want to improve the attractiveness of your product packaging and promote your brand through stylish packing, you should use printed stretch films or stretch wraps in the packaging process. Stretch films are essential in strengthening the packaging. You can get a catchy tagline and the logo of your brand printed on the stretch films through stretch film manufacturers in Malaysia, such as Thong Guan. Once you have decided on a captivating logo for your organization, you should start the process of getting printed stretch films for your product packaging.    What is Printed Stretch Wrap Packaging? Printed stretch wrap is similar to the ordinary heat shrink films. It has the same qualities, properties, and functions. The only difference is that printed stretch films have pre-printed customized logos and designs for marketing and branding reasons.    Types of Films on which Digital Printing Can be Performed Different stretch film manufacturers in Malaysia deals with various types of stretch films. Generally, you can find suppliers for all types of printed stretch films. Some of the common types of the stretch wrap are single-wound, polyolefin, perforated and non-perforated. Ink printing is often combined with digital printing on the stretch films to achieve maximum results.  It is imperative that you select an appropriate size and thickness of the stretch films to make sure the quality, flexibility, and strength of the wraps are not compromised during the printing process.     Pros of Printed Stretch Films 1. Superior Shelf Appeal Undoubtedly, printed stretch films have a superior shelf appeal. Lively colours and unique designs with the help of strong images and visuals on the stretch films can attract people’s attention immediately. Moreover, it is better than a non-printed stretch film because it has better visibility. 2. Greater Visibility The quality of the printing on stretch films should be maximum to make sure that your design can stay on the stretch films for a very long period of time. Some of the stretch film manufacturers in Malaysia may offer you some warranty period for complete satisfaction. Durable and conspicuous designing of the stretch film will make your brand stand out in the crowd. 3. Attract Potential Customers There is a psychological explanation behind the effectiveness of printed stretch films. It is common knowledge that people are attracted to things with bold colours and unique styles. Even if they do not like such vibrant designs, they are bound to look at such products at least once. If your products packed firmly and printed stretch wrap is used to strengthen the packing, you will be able to attract many people to your brand. If your product is placed next to a product without any printed films, your product will attract the potential customer.  Other than the above significant benefits of printed stretch films, the following are some general pros. - Lightweight and waste reduction - Upholds graphic integrity  - Easy printing on all sides - Quick marketing and branding of your company   Cons of Printed Stretch Films While there is a great number of advantages to printed stretch films, there are a few disadvantages as well.    1. Costlier Printed stretch films are more expensive than simple stretch wraps. Many product manufacturers might not be able to afford them, especially if they have just started their business. It is considered a premium product in the market.   2. Quantity Depending on the scale of your company, you might need to order printed stretch films in a large quantity. As a result, larger orders can lead to great expenses for different companies and product manufacturers.  However, it should be noted that printed films minimize the cost of labels. You might utilize some of the saved money for printed stretch films for better branding.    3. Recycling Issues There are some problems associated with the recycling of printed stretch films. Although it is recyclable, many countries and cities lack the facilities for recycling the printed stretch wraps properly, which can lead to an unsustainable environment. Many recycling companies often reject such films from recycling due to the presence of logos or text on it.    The Bottom Line Considering the pros and cons of printed stretch films, we can conclude that these modern printed stretch wraps are suitable for large companies and enterprises that are used to packaging hundreds of products and serving many customers on a daily basis. Although small manufacturers can face difficulty in terms of costing and the recycling process of the printed stretch films, many still reckon that it’s worth the money as printed stretch films can greatly boost a company’s image and branding effects. For more information, feel free to get in touch with us.   

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25 June
15 Surprising Uses For Stretch Wraps

Stretch wrapping is mostly associated with covering products for deliveries and in warehouses. It is mainly used by factories and product manufacturers to keep products safe and securely packaged. However, stretch films have a myriad of applications. Some of the surprising uses for stretch wraps are:   1. Keeping fruit and vegetables fresh Stretch films can be wrapped around fruit, especially bananas, to keep them fresh for an extended period and stop them from rapid ripening. Some vegetables can also be stretch wrapped to keep them fresh for a more extended period.   2. Keep paint fresh Stretch wraps can be used on the top of paint as an extra layer of protection. Before closing the paint can with a lid, put some stretch film around the top to ensure that air cannot enter the paint and the paint remains fresh.   3. Exam Papers Stretch wraps are one of the most common ways of securing exam papers. It ensures that all of the papers are securely transferred to the exam centres, and the bundle is not opened, hence preventing any possible leaks.   4. Bicycles Stretch films are used around bicycles all around the world, including in Malaysia. Pedals and handlebars are often covered with stretch wraps while moving them or at bicycle shops. This is to avoid any damages like scratching and scuffing on the bicycle.    5. Money  Stretch films provide extra protection for a large sum of money being transferred to a bank, storage facility or a minting facility. It is much easier to keep the money secured in one place with the help of stretch wraps. It also provides a high-security level to the currency notes because stretch films have tamper-evident properties and are waterproof. Sensitive products such as scratch cards, lottery tickets and giveaway cards are often wrapped with stretch films in Malaysia.    6. Avert Ice Cream Frosting Covering your ice cream with stretch wrap before closing it with a lid and putting it in the freezer helps prevent it from the freezer frost.    7. Safeguard your products in a suitcase If you want to put some liquid bottles in your suitcase, there is always a risk of spilling into your things and damaging it. Tightly wrap the stretch film over the liquid bottle to make sure it does not leak.   8. Cover Windows Cold air can enter your house from the small gaps in windows and doors, disturbing the whole environment of the house. You can prevent this by using stretch wraps to cover the windows and prevent cool air from entering, especially during cold nights.   9. Keep Rollers and Brushes Moist Wet paint brushes, rollers, and other equipment that can be damaged by the air can be protected with stretch wraps. As a result, the brushes will not dry and can be used again without washing them.   10. Easy Cleaning of Refrigerator Cleaning a refrigerator can be an exhausting task. To reduce the fridge cleaning time, place the stretch wraps in the fridge over the shelves. Whenever you want to clean it, just replace.     11. Protect the Moist Soil Pots should be covered with stretch wraps to protect the moist soil. Covered soil will result in a softer surface, which promotes the growth of the seeds.   12. Protect Delicate Items Like many other countries, stretch films are used in Malaysia to protect the delicate items while moving from different places, such as from the warehouse to delivery points. Other than the obvious protection, stretch wraps also keep the fragile and sharp items in one place, for example, crockeries like knives, spoons, and forks.     13. Protect Keyboard Stretch wraps can protect the computer keyboards from dirt and dust particles. Many people also habitually place eatables and fluids around the keyboard, which can accidentally spill on it. Stretch wraps can minimize the damage and protect the keyboards from accidental spills.   14. Patterns on the Wall  If you want a stylish random pattern on a wall, you can use a stretch wrap to create it. Place a stretch wrap on the wet painted wall and create different designs with the wrap. The plastic wrap will thin out the paint and leave different patterns on the wall which give a very modern chic vibe.   15. Marble Effects on Nails Similarly, if you want a cost-efficient marble effect on your nails, you can use stretch wraps. Did you know that if you use stretch wrap to dab over the wet nail polish, it will result in a unique marble effect? Just make sure to apply the top coat to preserve the design on your nails.    In a Nutshell  Stretch wrapping is a highly versatile method of packaging that can be utilized in wrapping almost any product in any style. When it comes to stretch wrapping, the only limit is your imagination because it has applications in practically every sector. Are you looking for a stretch wrap or stretch film manufacturer in Malaysia? For more information, feel free to get in touch with us.   

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