Three Powerhouses United to Tackle Recycling Plastic Waste
SEOUL -- LG Chem, the chemical unit of South Korea's LG Group, joined hands with a domestic reusable plastic bottle maker and a major logistics company to create an efficient, fully sustainable recycling system for plastic cosmetic containers.
Creating a fully sustainable plastic recycling system solves a myriad of waste problems that many corporations face and is the ideal solution for many enterprises. However, it is not easy to create such an ecosystem in practice. Because recycling is an expensive and time-taking job, it is hard to make a profit unless the production, distribution, collection, recycling, and redistribution of plastic products are carried out by a circle of manufacturers, logistics companies, and recycling companies (all of which are working synergistically with the same strategy and goals in mind).
LG Chem said in a statement that the company signed a memorandum of understanding with Innerbottle, a reusable bottle maker, and CJ Logistics, a logistics firm, to create an efficient recycling ecosystem platform that would minimize costs including the handling, storage, transportation and cleaning of collected materials.
Innerbottle, founded in 2018, is the key player in LG Chem's plastic recycling platform. The company can produce plastic bottles with an elastic silicone inner layer. When contents such as cosmetics or sauce are all used up, the bottle can be easily cleaned and recycled by just removing the inner layer and cleaning the bottle before inserting a new inner layer.
LG Chem will give source materials to produce these special plastic bottles using raw and recycled materials. Innerbottle will oversee the production of the reusable bottles. CJ Logistics will use delivery workers and infrastructure to collect used bottles. The collection process will be carried out as an on-demand service through a website where a customer orders a new cosmetics product filled inside a reusable bottle and a deliveryman will come to collect the used bottles. These collected bottles can be reused again by LG Chem and the cycle begins again.
LG Chem will carry out joint research with Innerbottle to develop acrylonitrile butadiene latex (NB latex) as an alternative material for the silicon inner layer pouch. NB latex is mainly used for medical and laboratory gloves for its tough and elastic characteristics. In a world where plastic waste is expected to exceed 1 billion tons by 2060, the importance of companies coming together to create plastic waste reduction plans will be imperative now more than ever.
Source: Park Sae-jin Reporter, Aju Business (April 2022)