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S. Korean chemical firms pushing to commercialize eco-friendly bioplastic Updated: 2021-01-07 10:04:45 KST

Eco-friendly plastic, can you imagine?
Chemical giants in South Korea are getting ready to commercialize the plastic of tomorrow plastic that is made from renewable biomass plastic that's not created from fossil fuels.

"And one of the companies leading the way is SK Chemicals. It is currently working to commercialize the raw material used to make a certain type of bioplastic."

Using sugar from fermented corn.

"Ecoprol is made from biomass rather than fossil fuel resources and therefore the production process emits less carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases."

Ecoprol could enter mass production as early as next year and will be processed into highly resilient, smooth bioplastic for use in furniture, clothing, shoes, bags and even masks.

"Recycling plastic is important. But what's more important is reducing plastic waste in the first place and creating plastic with eco-friendly materials. Bioplastic can be a part of the circular economy to help overcome environmental pollution."

Korea's bioplastic industry is expected to gain new momentum with unprecedented support from the government serving as extra motivation for firms to take part in the country's Green New Deal.

Industry leader, LG Chem, meanwhile, has developed biodegradable plastic made of glucose from corn and waste glycerol generated from producing biodiesel.

"Before receiving the final results, we were informed that more than 80-percent had already decomposed after the first 90 days. That's when we grew confident that it was truly biodegradable."

The new substance similar to synthetic plastic and more elastic and transparent than other bioplastics, could enter mass production as early as 2025.

With plastic waste increasingly becoming a problem as more people rely on deliveries and take-outs
during the pandemic, the mass production of these eco-friendly plastics could be a long-term and sustainable solution for planet Earth.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.
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