Thailand pushes biodegradable plastic bag research commercialization

Thailand’s National Metal and Materials Technology Center (MTEC) has joined forces with private companies and SMEs in Thailand to develop bags made from tapioca starch which completely degrade in four months.

11, Dec. 2019

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Pathum Thani, VNA – Thailand’s National Metal and Materials Technology Center (MTEC) has joined forces with private companies and SMEs in Thailand to develop bags made from tapioca starch which completely degrade in four months.

Commercialization of this innovation can help with the farming sector in keeping with the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy model.

Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Suvit Maesincee has observed the development process of a bioplastic bag made from tapioca starch, which will completely degrade in 3-4 months and help reduce manufacturing costs by 20 percent.

He said this innovation will help bag manufacturers produce bags from more eco-friendly materials, and reduce the amount of plastic waste in keeping with the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy model.

The tapioca-made plastic bags were introduced at the Red Cross Fair earlier this year and received positive feedback. Thailand currently produces 500,000 tonnes of plastic bags each year, that have a less than 1 percent degradable rate.

The development of these biodegradable plastic bags started with the making of bioplastic beads in a lab, followed by the enrichment of engineering properties to make the beads suitable to be transformed into biodegradable thin film and then into bio-degradeable plastic bags, intended to be used as containers for food waste.

The innovation is considered a game changer, revolutionizing plastic bag manufacturing, and helping solve environment issues in Thailand. - VNA