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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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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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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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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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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28 September
Are There Enough Sustainability Efforts To Close The Loop?

Are the sustainability efforts made today enough? Sustainability seems like a buzz word these days. It is a cycle whereby processes and work can be done and redone again through a long term process without depleting finite resources. It means resources can be used—just like a loop— to prolong a product’s usability cycle into many series.  We know you have come to realize the importance of circularity, especially when more exposure is given on news of pollution devastation on our environment and health comes to light.  Sustainability is compared to the linear economy, where products have only one lifetime. They are created, used, and dumped—somewhere in the world, lost and forgotten.  However, in the case of plastics, it doesn’t rot and become one with nature again.  Plastics don’t break down quickly, and when it does — it becomes microplastics. These are non-living solid matters that stay in the earth or in the water that comes back to haunt us. We certainly don’t want it to pollute our soil nor have it in our body when we drink our next glass of water. Unfortunately, this might be the case — and will increase in volume if something is not done about it.  Though plastic recyclability is not directly mentioned in the Sustainability Goals set by the UN in 2015, the effect of plastic pollution and its importance to promote recycling can be reflected in: - SDG 3: Good health and well-being.- SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation.- SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities.- SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production.- SDG 13: Climate action.- SDG 14: Life below water (protection of the seas and oceans).- SDG 15: Life on land (restore ecosystems and preserve diversity). But how does one go all out to combat this issue when you are not sure or alone? Despite the issue of pollution, tertiary plastic packaging is still needed unless we stop buying things globally or trade internationally. Without packaging services, cost increases and prices will surely follow too. This is because, without professional packaging help, it is costly to secure our goods and ensure that they arrive at our destination in one piece.  Would the products still be usable or sellable to our customers without professional packaging? Through a global setup of primary, and secondary, tertiary packaging providers, the cost of manufacturing and production will be brought down. Orders will be physically secured as well to be delivered as expected. Damages of goods and spillage would be the least of your worries so that you can focus on marketing and the running of your business. Now that we know that plastic packaging is indeed essential, but what about the undesired effect of it— environmental pollution. What happens after all those plastics after it has been used?   Thong Guan has also started thinking about it. We are equally concerned about our environment and our children’s future too.  We know you share the same concerns as well. That is why you have set up sustainability goals for your company. Let us share with you our efforts on some sustainability projects that we have embarked on.   TG RE:DO How does plastic waste like used film go back to being reused again? Introducing Thong Guan’s Re:DO program. This is our initiative to close the loop by taking back unwanted waste and put them back into useful plastic products through their own recycling program. Instead of going to the forgotten world of trash, our Re:DO program prolongs its lifetime and value once again.  Here is a diagram of how Thong Guan Industries sustainability efforts work: The value of plastics increases when the loop is closed. Send us your waste so that we can complete the circle together.    TG RE:USE To recycle one must first collect. But what kind of waste is collected and that can be recycled?  Here are two categories of waste that we will collect from:    Post-industrial waste  In industrial manufacturing facilities or plants that manufacture plastics, there are wastes. It may be a result of defects, set up, sizing, or simply mistakes and overruns that don't pass the QC. These are post-industrial or pre-consumer waste— waste that has never seen the daylight or reached consumers yet.  These wastes are reconverted back and made into other useful products like Maxstretch Green so that it can be of use once again.    Post-consumer waste  Post-consumer wastes are material that has served its created purpose as a consumer item and also separated from other materials, which is intended to be disposed of. It has concluded its life cycle as a consumer product and to be recycled and reused again.   There are two types of post-consumer waste:  End-user waste  End-user waste can be from consumers which are from household or industrial.  Wastes from households or families are mostly collected from residential areas where consumables are thrown away. These are plastics from food wraps, sausage packings, or even plastic bags that we use to contain things. Recyclers will collect them so that it can be recycled back into the marketplace.    Post-Consumer Waste (PCW)  Industrial organizations are also end-users as well. Big organizations collect industrial post-consumer waste (like shrink film) on a massive scale for the purpose of recycling. It will then be processed into Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) resins.  Thong Guan works with them to obtain these certified PCW materials to produce usable plastics. These plastics will live again as courier, e-commerce bags, and shrink film products.      TG RE:DUCE Reducing the creation of plastics reduces plastic pollution. However, since the demand for plastics never ceases, one must take internal and external steps to lessen its usage. Here are some choices that we are currently embarking on.    Coreless products  To do our part externally in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we have reduced the cores of our products.  Why?  This is because our cores are made from paper. Through doing away with these paper cores and replacing them with reusable plastic cores, stretch films can be "refilled" after a roll is finished. This initiative helps save trees from being chopped down for the purpose of creating paper cores.   Internal 3R program  What about our internal practices then? We also adhere to the policy of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle in our workplace so that minimal plastic will go to waste for our office and factories.  We prioritize practicing a culture that encourages the appreciation for recycling products so that waste can prolong its lifetime. Wastes are segregated so that it can be recycled to be used once again in the market through recycling.    TG BIO Thong Guan’s sustainability efforts also include creating plastics through bioresources.  What are bio-based products? These are products made from renewable resources that don't tax or finite resources like petroleum in the creation of useful plastics products like flexible packaging.  These bio-based plastics have been tested and found to be proven as it has good high impact strength and also high resistance against unwanted punctures too.  Materials like bio-based food wrap help to save food as well. Food wraps are used to pack food so that it lasts longer, remains fresher, and ultimately reduces waste from the food supply chain. Since we have to use it, why not use bio-based products that go back to nature?      TG COMPOSTABLE How about self-composting plastic waste? Earlier, we mentioned that plastics are not able to compose as it is made from non-compostable materials.  However, with modern technology, we can create plastics from renewable sources. Plastics that are extracted from renewable materials like corn starch (PTH - ethylene) can break down within three months because it is made from natural elements. It will also be eaten by microbes and will not end up in a forever existence like any regular plastic.  How does Thong Guan produce compostable products?  We use only 100% of compostable resins to convert them into plastic bags like garbage bags, shopping bags, food packaging, and protective packaging. With this product, we present you a choice to choose to opt-in compostable materials to combat plastic pollution together.    TG ENGAGE Well, we already have a process to close the cycle through Re:DO and also strategies to reuse and reduce. We also practice policies of internal recycling and produce environment-friendly products like coreless and compostable materials.  The next step is to test and improve our processes and products.  Our data and findings are validated through our collaboration with Newton R&D Center.  Newton helps to test and provides insightful data that will be collected for better improvement.  Insights are important so that distributors, manufacturers, logistics companies, and brand owners will be able to send their goods safely to their destination. A report showed that at least four percent of transported goods in Europe are found to be damaged (source: eumos.eu). What more the rest of the world? Through our load stability program, we have been able to help to extensively reduce product damages and unsellable during logistics arrangements and in warehouses.  Through research and development, we create a future where we can contribute to help better the food chain through secure packaging and save precious resources from unnecessary damages.    We Are All In This Together  There is much news of rising pollution. However, there is also much effort towards working towards sustainability out there too.  Everyone needs to do their part in contributing to sustainability so that we can achieve all of them by 2030.  Thong Guan has already started rolling out efforts to strive for sustainability. We are determined to do our part as a significant plastic packaging producer. Not only are we concerned, but championing the new plastics economy—a market that closes the plastic loop. We also have a ready lab to test and develop products so that data can be collected and validated for result-driven efforts.   Join and collaborate with us 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 or to enquire about the programs.

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12 October
Are There Enough Sustainability Efforts To Close The Loop?

What is Bio-Based Plastics? Generally, bio-based plastics means plastics that are sourced from non-fossil carbon. We need carbon to make plastics, and we have been using fossil-based carbon for a very long time.  Fossil based materials are finite. Earth Policy Institute reported that approximately one trillion single-use plastic bags are used yearly across the globe. That is a whopping number of less than 2 million per minute! Most of these are petroleum-based plastics. The way plastics are producing right now, we are indeed accelerating fossil materials to its depletion.  But today, it is possible to make plastic from any kind of feedstock or biomass.  You may hear buzz words like bio-sourced, bio-based, renewable feedstock, plant-based, or vegan that refers to the non-fossil origin of plastics. They mean nearly the same thing, but there is one big difference.  It is whether you include carbon from animal origin or not. Defined by the standards of EN 16575:2014, we consider bio-based that comes from the biomass. There are a few generations of bio-based fuels that we can use to make plastic. - The first generation of bioplastics uses food crops such as sugarcane and corn. - The second-generation uses waste from non-food resources like wood and organic waste. - The third generation uses soil-less farming and non-food resources like algae and seaweed to make plastic. That is usually called blue bioplastics. - The fourth-generation uses captured CO2 as feedstock. So, what are the advantages of bioplastic?    Bioplastic vs. Plastics  What are the advantages of bio-based plastics? - Carbon-free renewable feedstock  - Reduced carbon footprint. Some bio-based polymers or plastics are lighter and thus more performance than petroleum-based plastics.  - Gets the best out of our waste stream  Most of all, Bio PE is reusable and recyclable, just like any standard PE. Used plastics can be reused once again.   Is Bioplastic Biodegradable?  Bio based plastic is often confused with biodegradable.  Bio based refers to the source of substance used to make the plastic. In contrast, biodegradable relates only to the fact that the material can degrade at the end of its life back into biomass or carbon dioxide (CO2).  Once produced, the bio-based polymers behave precisely like standard polymers. They would have some mechanical properties and sealing properties, and importantly they will also have the same recallability.  Bio based plastics will go through the recycling process into PE or polyolefin streams, exactly like standard PE.    From Finite Based to Renewable Based  The shift from fossil material like petroleum, coal, and natural gas to safer and more renewable materials  Everyone knows fossil made materials are all around us, and for so long, we felt like we did not have any choice or alternatives. Until discovering bio-based materials, we can now make plastics from sugar cane, corn, and even seaweed.  But how about obtaining it from wood that is proposed for consumption anyway?    How to Make Bioplastics So how are bioplastics made? There are many sources that plastics can be obtained from natural non-fossil sources, but Thong Guan’s choice would be to make plastic bags from bio based resins.  To make bio-based resins, the tall oil is derived from wood waste . These collected fibers would typically otherwise be wasted and discarded so repurposing them to gain biomass for plastics is a splendid move to preserve our environment.  Our fibers are collected from the well-managed forest. Trees are replanted and keep on growing for the purpose of commercialization.  Such forests are known as “sustainable forests” that are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) approved that don't affect forest reserves. Trees here are allocated to be used to make products like paper and other consumer materials.  It does not upset our ecosystem and our food supply, too, as it does not take from crops meant for food consumption.    Our Bioplastic Solution  100% of bioplastic resins is certified by ISCC, a globally applicable sustainability certification system. It covers all sustainable feedstocks, including circular and bio-based materials, agricultural and forestry biomass, and renewables. We have bioplastic products ranging from plastic bags, garbage bags, stretch film, biohazard bags, shrink film, and even meat liners. These products fall under Thong Guan’s Live Green sustainability solutions.  Not only that, but we also specialize in meeting your customization needs to create any type of packaging bags to suit your industry needs.   What about the quality of our bio based products? Through our partnership with Newton R&D Center, we have put our products through in-depth testing to see if it passes damage tests from all sorts of extreme situations. We are happy to announce that our bio products exhibit high impact strength and puncture resistance.  This means less damage to goods, secured deliveries, and less pollution to the earth too.  In fact, bio-based plastics are climate-neutral as each tree absorbs as much CO2 in its lifetime as it emits when it decomposes or is burned.  In other words, you are helping to remove CO2 from the environment when you use bioplastic products.  This way, you can care for the earth while protecting your product at the same time.    Other Benefits of Bio-Based Plastics Using bio-based packaging also helps you profit by reducing taxes. The Bangkok Post reported that Thailand reduces tax on companies that adopt bioplastics, while Schroder’s reported that some countries like the United Kingdom levy more tax for normal PE usage.  The use of recycled bio-based PE helps you to achieve sustainability goals set by the UN in 2015 to promote the circular economy too. Though not mentioned directly, it can be reflected on goals - SDG 3: Good health and well-being. - SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation. - SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities. - SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production. - SDG 13: Climate action. - SDG 14: Life below water (protection of the seas and oceans). - SDG 15: Life on land (restore ecosystems and preserve diversity).   Bioplastics: A Sustainable Future Ahead Thanks to bio-based plastics, you can use and recycle your plastic packaging with ease, knowing that your waste will be cycled back again as usable plastic in another product life.  You become part to help accelerate the circular economy, and your plastic usage will not contribute to climate change.  The results of the bio-based materials are the same as any everyday plastics. It is durable, protective, and unlike single used plastics, 100% recyclable too.  Let us reduce dependency on crude oil and go forward with renewable sourced plastic packaging.  We can reduce the global plastic problem together.  Contact us at info@thongguan.com for more info or to enquire more today.

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12 October
7 Recycling Facts about Plastics

Recycling can seem difficult for many people, especially those that do not fully understand the concept of recycling and the various factors that influence this process. There are many different aspects of recycling plastics like market demand, cost of the process, rules and regulations and the overall recycling system. Despite the fact that the recycling process is affected by many different things, consumers play the most critical role as it is important for people to become familiar with some of the most important recycling facts about plastics. These are:   1. Recyclable Plastics at Local Level Market demand and rules and regulations set by the government play a huge role in the recycling of different types of plastics. It is important for the consumer to be familiar with the kind of plastics that you can recycle in their area. Generally, stretch films, stretch wraps and coffee cups are recyclable. Therefore, if you know about the types of plastics that can be recycled in your area, you can put the right things in the recyclable bin to ensure more plastics are being reused.     2. The Majority of Plastics are Recyclable It might be surprising to many people, but the truth is that you can find a huge amount of recyclable plastics in your home. Most of us tend to make the mistake of only looking for recyclable plastics in our kitchens. However, there are many other materials like plastic containers for detergent, bleach and gardening products that are also recyclable but people often throw them away. Your local recycling company is typically equipped to help you with this in order that you can find the maximum amount of recyclable plastics in your home.   3. Plastic Caps and Lids Plastic caps and lids are usually made up of high-density polyethylene which is recyclable plastic. When putting the plastic bottles in a recycling bin or giving them to a plastic recycling company, you should put the plastic caps and lids back on the bottles. These are separated later in the recycling process but as a general rule, always give plastic caps and lids to the recyclers.   4. Unlimited Recycling There are certain types of plastics that suffer from quality loss upon recycling. However, such limitations are not present for many types of plastics, glass, metal, and aluminium. Stretch films, for instance, are capable of being recycled over and over again. Moreover, advancements in recycling technology and processes have made it possible to recycle a lot of materials quickly and more efficiently.   5. Uses of Ocean Plastics Due to an increase in awareness about the possible harmful effects of plastics, especially in the ocean, recycling has seen a considerable boost in popularity. There are a lot of companies that are working to remove plastics from the ocean and recycle and reuse them. It is a very good strategy as it does not only clean up the ocean but also creates new avenues for plastics to be reused.   6. The Role of Technology There are many recycling facilities that work manually and sort out plastics by hand. At the same time, modern tools and technology play a crucial role in revolutionizing plastic recycling procedures. Some such advancements include implementing automated and robotic solutions to sort out plastic packaging at a rapid rate. Similarly, machines are available to quickly remove the labels from plastic bottles while safeguarding the structure of the plastic. An infrared laser is often used for sorting and recycling different kinds of plastics.   7. The Growth in Plastic Recycling One of the most interesting aspects of the plastic recycling industry is that it is constantly rising. Both the demand and need for plastic recycling have grown dramatically over the last decade. Furthermore, the availability of modern recycling programs for different types of plastics like containers, lids, stretch films, stretch wraps and bags has made it much easier for people to recycle plastics.    Final Thoughts  The bottom line is that plastic recycling is expanding due to consumer interest as well as new innovations in this multifaceted process. Due to the widespread efforts of the recycling industry, the public and organizations that are pushing for eco-friendly and sustainable development, the trend is expected to rise in the future as well. Ultimately, plastic recycling is something that is not restricted to one particular country or section of society. Instead, it benefits the entire world and humanity, so it is crucial for all of us to play our role in ensuring maximum recycling of plastics.   

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