Plastic supply chain calls for deposit mechanism | Daily News


Plastic supply chain calls for deposit mechanism

Peter Malmros
Peter Malmros

Senior Technical Manager Borouge Peter Malmros said that the best mechanism to combat plastic pollution was to implement a deposit mechanism.

He said given the widespread usage of plastic, low cost, and its suitability in a lot of use cases it is best to create an incentive mechanism to recycle the material. He questioned the actual environmental sustainability of biodegradable plastic. Malmros was speaking at a technical session organized by Falco Trading at the Shang Ri La Colombo on 13 December. Bourouge is a plastic solution joint venture between the Abu Dhabi National Oil company and an Austrian company.

Malmros said “In Europe today we pay a deposit on everything. They pay you back when you bring them to the supermarket. This is the way to secure that you will have resources in the future. You have to pay a deposit or bring the plastic back for recycling.

“The problem with plastic is that it is too cheap. We must understand the value of plastic. We need it in our daily lives to protect food and have clean water in our homes. Oxo-biodegradable material we are against. It is a waste of resources,” he opined.

Malmros cited plastic as essential to the increase in the shelf life of food. He said “There was a family in Australia that tried to live without plastic. It failed. Today you have plastic everywhere in your life. You need plastic to pack food and to keep the food without wasting the food.”

Malmros said that the message provided by the media was wrong and that given the uses of plastic in itself was safe and that it was more worthwhile to develop a circular production system.

“We speak about mono-material solutions to be able to recycle all packaging on the market. We aren’t the only company working on this. You have to work from the material producer to the convertor, the brand owners, and also the end-user. Everyone has to be aligned in the value chain to succeed.

Malmros added “We are not there but we are working on it to develop a good solution. In Europe, we have a lot of close cooperation. Going to the circular economy, in Europe today you are looking at recyclable materials. We need to have a portfolio of recyclable material.” Malmros described the complex system of plastic grades. He said “Long time back we had a monolayer system.

The challenge today we need good airtightness properties, lightweight, recyclability, and long shelf life. This is something we can’t manage with one material.”

Malmros added “It is difficult to give a tight seal in a package. The speed of packaging would be impossible without a special material. We need barrier properties without getting softness or strengthening. We also need to prevent leakages onto the next product on the shelf.”

Bourouge has developed a clear as opposed to an opaque plastic film that can be used as a sealant.

Bourouge is capable of developing polymers that extend the shelf life of products like laundry detergent.

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