Published On: Fri, Jun 12th, 2009

Pilot project in Thailand promotes use of biodegradable bags

n conjunction with the BioPlastics Asia 2009 forum, Thailand’s National Innovation Agency (NIA), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ: German Technical Cooperation), Thai Bioplastics Industry Association (TBIA) and BASF announced yesterday (June 11) that they have joined forces in pilot projects to promote the use of biodegradable bags.

The inaugural pilot project, which will run from July to December 2009 in the Samut Songkhram Province, aims to use biodegradable bags to collect household organic waste in the most efficient way and produce high-quality compost that will serve as organic fertilizer for the purpose of soil improvement.

“Biodegradable plastics present an important contribution to efficient biowaste management. Additionally, as a secondary raw material post-composting, it can also be used to provide an economical and ecologically viable utilization possibility – fertilizer in this case. This kind of organic waste recycling will be an important waste management model and further the evolving bioplastics market in Thailand as well,” said Dr Supachai Lorlowhakarn, Director of NIA. The NIA successfully developed the National Roadmap for the Development of the bioplastics industry in Thailand, which was approved by the Cabinet on 22 July 2008.

NIA will support the cost of biodegradable plastic bags and project management to the Development of Environment and Energy Foundation (DEE) for the separation, collection and organic treatment / composting of waste. The composting process will be managed by TCM Environment, with its bio-digester that will convert the organic waste collected, into end-products that can be used as fertilizer. For the production of the biodegradable bags, TBIA will compound starch with BASF’s Ecoflex, a fully-biodegradable, compostable polyester which is tear-resistant, puncture-resistant, waterproof, printable and elastic. The outcome result will provide the important information which could support the study of the bioplastics environmental policy funded by GTZ.