2013 Green Packaging Conference PRESS RELEASE Achieving sustainability with awareness and responsibility JAKARTA, Indonesia (November 28, 2013)-Plastics, hailed as the materials of the 21st century for their varied potentials and applications, are also amongst the most “misunderstood” materials. This isdue to theircomplex compositions as well as how they can be repurposed or disposed of effectively at their end of use or life. It is true that forecasts for green packaging are on an uptrend, according to data that peg the segment’s market growth at a CAGR of 14.32% from 2012 to 2016. But why is there still a continuing outcry for reducing, reusing and recycling, and in the extreme case,a total ban on the use of plastics? Will the Green Packaging concept rest the case? Based on the outcome of the recently concluded Green Packaging Conference held on 21 November in Jakarta, Indonesia, guest experts discussed the extent of sustainability of today’s Green Packaging concept. The presenters agreed that different labels are associated with green packaging such as biobased, biodegradable, compostable, oxo-degradable, to name a few. But these do not necessarily make a plastic-based packaging, “green”. Yoesoef Santo of the Indonesian Packaging Federation, who moderated the conference, says that global warming is a major vital issue, and that globally, the impetus is to minimise the amount of hazardous waste. This relates tothe usage of petroleum as well as the patronship of non-biodegradable plastics. “We need to have innovation that is able to deliver clear, renewable advances,” he adds. Dr Phietoon Trivijitkasem, Honorary President(Charter) of the Thai Bioplastics Industry Association (TBIA), clarified that not all biodegradable plastics are compostable. But all compostable plastics are biodegradable. It is along this line that Junaidi Zen, Principal Application Engineer at NatureWorks LLC, said that just because a material is claimed to be compostable, it will just disappear if disposed of. He emphasised that putting these materials in a composting facility is a requisite.
Geert Van Ballaer, Marketing Manager for Moulding and Film & Fibre at Borouge Singapore, said that the plastic material is too valuable a resource to be just thrown away. He said that plastics, which use only 4% of oil and gas in the production process, are an essential part of modern living. Dr.PipatWeerathaworn, Expert, External Affairs at PTT Global Chemical Public Company Ltd, and President of TBIA, also illustrated along with his presentation, how Thailand is becoming a bio-industrial model in the Asia Pacific region. Meanwhile, Gilles Lefevre,Managing Director atEngel Thailand, who presented the multifunctional designs of machinery for packaging, reiterated that everyone should be responsible for reusing, recycling and reducing plastic waste. Echoing this concept,Lee Chee Kiong,Sales Director Asia, Sorting Division at S+S Inspection Asia Pte Ltd, offered mechanical solutions to allow for effective recycling through the firm’s optical sensor-based automatic sorting systems. The conference concluded with recommendations, including the addition of additives toplastics materials to augment the latter’srange of applications; combining bio-sourced materials with conventional plastics to lower material costs and allow for the “green” factor as well as the use ofa reliable sorting system to make recycling effective. In brief, the fundamental solution to sustainable, “green” packaging starts with awareness and continues with an individual’sresponsible mindset. ### As
(www.plasticsandrubberasia.com), together with Tara Media and Communications (www.taramedia.com.my), gathers experts from relevant industries who delve on the various dynamic issues of green packaging every year. This is the third conference to be held in the series of the Green Packaging conferences, which rotate from Thailand to Indonesia. It is a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) event and is free to all participants.