D&L, Japan firm tie up for plastic alternative
A UNIT of newly listed D&L Industries, Inc. has sealed an agreement with Japan-based Showa Denko K.K. to manufacture Bionolle Starcla, described as an environmentally friendly compound positioned an alternative to non-biodegradable plastic used for bags, D&L said in a statement on Friday last week
“D&L Polymer and Colours, Inc. (DLPC), a subsidiary of D&L, and Showa Denko, Japan’s leading chemical engineering company, have signed an original equipment manufacturing agreement covering the compounding, manufacturing, and distribution in the Philippines of Bionolle Starcla,” the statement read.
Bionolle Starcla is a starch-based biopolymer that fully decomposes within one to two months of exposure to bacteria.
It is used to make compost, garbage, and shopping bags.
It is a product of Showa Denko, a manufacturing company founded in 1908 initially to make and sell iodine in China, Japan, Showa Denko’s Web site read. The company is currently engaged in the manufacture of petrochemicals, industrial gases, chemicals, ceramics, carbons, aluminum, electronics, and battery components.
“Showa Denko is a tech company and they [sic] develop these material technologies… but they don’t have a large-scale manufacturing capability like we would,” Alvin D. Lao, D&L executive vice-president and chief financial officer, said in a telephone interview last Saturday.
D&L will manufacture Bionolle Starcla at its 50,000 metric ton-capacity plant in Canlubang, Laguna, for one year until Nov. 19, the statement added.
“[W]e’ve already done some test runs and produced some in small quantities which we exported back to Showa Denko in Japan,” Mr. Lao said.
D&L will manufacture Bionolle Starcla for local use, and at the same time supply Showa Denko which in turn will handle the product’s overseas marketing and distribution, he explained.
D&L is confident its new product will help the environment and at the same time help the struggling plastics industry, which has been hit as more and more local governments of major urban centers ban the use of plastic shopping bags.
“Bionolle Starcla will breathe new life into the plastics industry, which has lost almost 40% of its business to bans,” Lester A. Lao, DLPC managing director, said in the statement.
“At the same time, we are also complementing the paper industry as we help them enhance their products and still be environment friendly.”
In its statement, D&L explained that Bionolle Starcla may be used to make thin film laminates to reinforce paper bags and cups.
D&L cited growing market potentials of Bionolle Starcla and similar materials.
“Based on studies, global production capacity for eco-friendly plastics will see a four-fold jump in five years from 1.2 million metric tons in 2011 to 5.8 million tons in 2016,” the company said in the statement.
Bionolle Starcla is D&L’s second environmentally friendly product after it introduced in 2007 BIOmate, a plastic compound used for shopping bags that partially decomposes after some time.