German chemical company BASF has joined the Thai Bioplastics Industry Association (TBAI), Thailand’s National Innovation Agency (NIA) and Germany’s Technical Cooperation group GTZ in launching a biodegradable bag project in Thailand, which aims to build composting facilities in the country for efficient waste management as well as support the development of the country’s bioplastic industry.
The pilot project is a first for Thailand and will demonstrate the use of bioplastic bags to efficiently collect household organic waste as well as produce fertilizer or other organic matter from that waste.
BASF said the potential production capacity of high quality organic fertilizer from the composted waste is 6 million tons/year, which could be exported.
The plastic bags going to be used could be made of cassava starch and calcium carbonate compounded with BASF’s biodegradable compostable polyester Ecoflex, which the company said is tear-resistant, puncture-resistant, waterproof, printable and elastic. BASF said their Ecoflex is already commonly used in Thailand for organic waste bags, carrier bags and shopping bags.
As part of the launch, which was held at the pilot plant site in the Kradangar District of Samut Songkhram Province, a community outreach group consisting of community leaders and students promoted the use of biodegradable plastic bags to 730 households.
NIA said recommendations for the bioplastics environmental policy, which is expected to be completed within the next six months, will outline the infrastructure, framework, instruments and guidelines to promote the use and production of bioplastics in Thailand.