S. Korean chemical companies accelerating development of eco-friendly plastics

July 5, 2019

South Korea’s major chemical companies are accelerating research and development (R&D) and commercialization of environmentally friendly plastics. Eco-friendly plastics are becoming an issue of growing importance around the globe and there is a growing interest in environment protection in the country due to non-biodegradable plastic trash problems. SK Chemicals Co. is most actively seeking to develop polylactic acid (PLA), a bioplastic derived from renewable biomass, typically from fermented plant starch such as from corn, cassava, sugarcane or sugar beet pulp. The company has been developing biodegradable plastic materials since the early 1990s, ahead of other domestic chemical firms. However, it failed to commercialize them. In 2012, SK Chemicals developed flexible PLA resin for packing films. Expectations are growing that the firm will be able to begin selling PLA products early next year. Biodegradable plastics are completely degraded into water, carbon dioxide or methane within a few months by the action of microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungus and algae. Lotte Chemical Corp. has been expanding R&D on eco-friendly products and technologies to cope with the green plastic issue. The company is operating an “innovation group” within its research center based on the concept of 5R – reuse, reduce, recycle, replacement and resign.

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Chemical Business Association

Advocacy – representing chemical supply chain businesses in Whitehall, Westminster, and Brussels. CBA has effective working relationships with regulators and legislators and plays an active role in the European Association for Chemical Distributors (Fecc) and the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic).

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Spotlight

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