Dow recently announced its collaboration with Royal Umbrella and Prepack, Thai leading flexible packaging producer under SCG Packaging (SCGP), to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by optimizing plastic resin used in rice bags as well as reducing energy use in production. The collaboration utilizes Dow's sustainable packaging solution INNATE(TM)and down-gauging technology. The new recyclable rice bags will be launched in 2021 in response to consumers' demand for environmental-friendly packaging and to address the partners' sustainability goals.
Royal Umbrella's developmental packaging is Thailand's first brand to use multi-layer, mono-material polyethylene rice bags made from Dow's innovative INNATE(TM)precision packaging resins. In spite of a reduction in thickness, packaging made with Dow's resins will be stronger.
"In the initial phase, it is anticipated that 300 metric tons of plastics will be reduced which is equivalent to eliminating 600 metric tons of carbon or planting more than 237 acres of trees. Not only are the mono-material polyethylene bags easy to recycle, but Royal Umbrella also encourages its consumers to separate their waste," said Chatchai Luanpolcharoenchai, Dow Thailand President.
"Our rice bags were previously not recyclable, now Royal Umbrella's plastic rice bags can be recycled," said Thiti Lujitanon, Royal Umbrella's Chief Operating Officer. "We are not stopping here. We will take the recyclable bag to the next level and make our rice bag thinner and stronger while reducing carbon dioxide emission by using less plastic and lowering the temperatures in the bag's sealing process. This is aligned with our sustainable goals to address the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) by eliminating problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging through redesign and reinvention, changing single-use plastic packaging to reusable one, and ensuring 100% of our plastic packaging can be reused or recycled. Royal Umbrella aims to completely stop using non-recyclable packaging by 2025."
"We are excited to partner with Royal Umbrella, the biggest packaged rice brand in Thailand, to redesign their packaging to one that meets their sustainability needs. With INNATE(TM) precision packaging resins, we have successfully downgauged their existing packaging, reducing the material used while maintaining the same performance," said Bambang Candra, Asia Pacific commercial vice president for Packaging & Specialty Plastics, Dow. "As we collectively advance towards a circular plastics economy, collaborations across the value chain are increasingly important to reduce plastic waste and support the country's drive towards a more sustainable future."
Paradorn Chulajata, Prepack's managing director, said, "To cope with the growing population and the need for more natural resources, we place importance on the effective use of resources and caring for nature following the sustainable development concept. We drive the Circular Economy principles by maximizing the resources used. We design our products and services to enable brand owners and consumers to be convenient while using fewer materials. The offers must also be reusable or recyclable. We improve the production and process to drive the Circular Economy throughout the whole supply chain using less water and energy. We are ready to continue driving the principle from inside-out through our customers and consumers so that all parties aware and join forces to make a better and sustainable society and the planet."
Consumers can drop off Royal Umbrella's rice bags at the nearest recycling bins or donate them at more than 350 "Mue Wised x Won" plastic bag drop points by PPP Plastics in leading department stores in Thailand.