Four companies honored for green packaging

PHUKET: THE Foundation of Science and Technology Council of Thailand and the Science and Technology Ministry have jointly praised four companies for producing or using green packaging. They are Thai Containers Group, Biodegradable Packaging for Environment (BPE), Thai Namthip, and Nestle (Thai).

Chainarong Cherdchu, president of the foundation, said the four companies were recognized as part of its Green Science and Technology promotion for the business sector.

“We rewarded two green-packaging producers, Thai Containers Group and Biodegradable Packaging for Environment, and two users of such packaging, Thai Namthip and Nestle (Thai).

“This move is a part of our ambitious aim to help the country reduce waste and to encourage businesses and people to reduce waste together. If we start using green packaging that is biodegradable or reduce usage of plastic materials, we can save the environment,” Chainarong said.

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Weerachat Kittirattanapaiboon, managing director of BPE, said that after investing in research and development, its main biodegradable material now was bagasse tissue.

“Our return on investment from R&D, in commercial terms, was not immediately tangible, since we posted losses for three years before finally seeing profits. But we got valuable returns in terms of people’s health and the environment, since our products can be biodegraded within 45 days,” he said.

Gracz brand

He added that half of the company’s Gracz brand of biodegradable packaging was exported and half sold domestically. BPE produces 70 stock-keeping units with production capacity of 600,000 to 1 million pieces per day. It is now investing in a new plant that is expected to increase production capacity to 2mn pieces per day. The new plant will start production in October.

“Currently, our production capacity is less than 1 per cent of the total food packaging people use in one day. This market is so huge, we are also starting to produce non-food packaging as well,” he said.

Varna Sudasna, design-center manager of Thai Containers Group, a subsidiary of SCG Paper, said the company had more than 200 customers for its green packaging, mostly big names such as Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, and Ampol Food Processing, as well as home-appliance manufacturers.

“The benefits of using green packaging belong to our customers, including cost savings and being environmentally friendly.”

In Phuket, efforts have been made to reduce the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags at area Tesco Lotus supermarkets. The opening of a new store in Rawai last January was marked by the announcement that it would not issue plastic bags to customers (story here) followed by two other existing Tesco Lotus’ in Phuket following suit in May (story here).

Tesco Lotus also implemented a program offering incentives to patrons who chose more environmentally conscious products.

— The Nation

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