In the past five years, waste management has become one of the top concerns for people worldwide after having witnessed the significant impact of improper waste management. Aside from the proper sorting and handling of waste, discussion now centers on innovations for reducing waste and increasing material circulation for optimum use.
Business Operators and Adaptability
Circular Economy is the keyword that encompasses end-to-end waste management, beginning with responsible and efficient production all the way to proper disposal and recycling in order to reduce waste. It is the duty of business operators in every sector to adapt to more environmentally conscious business models, reduce waste, and add more value to materials.
For business owners who produces goods and products to meet the demands of consumers, now needs to adapt to be more environmentally friendly. At present, many brands are beginning to establish business strategies that address environmental concerns while maintaining quality products that still fulfill the demands of consumers, such as making adjustments to the design for easier recycling after use, using recycled materials as alternative materials for producing packaging, and providing instructions for proper disposal or channels for returning post-consumer waste back to the recycling system. All of these changes demonstrates responsibility to consumers, society, and the environment.
For manufacturers, innovations becomes the answer that will lead to the development of alternative, more eco-conscious materials and manufacturing processes, which makes it possible to produce durable goods with longer lifespans, and extend the lifecycle of materials to increase efficiency. Careful selection or development of innovations that meet environmental needs on a cyclical basis is also important, starting with reducing waste and energy consumption in production and using innovative, environmentally friendly materials that are easy to dispose and recycled, all the way to distribution processes that minimize greenhouse gas emissions.
Another important sector aside from business operators is the consumers themselves, who are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of their choices of purchase. Consumer choice is also an important catalyst that will prompt business operators to come up with new techniques and methods to meet the demands and behaviors of consumers who are becoming mindful of selecting environmentally friendly products and have a better understanding of the goods they consume than in the past. Using the principle of “maximizing resource, separating waste, and proper disposal” Consumers have been creating a ripple effect that generates change throughout the entire value chain.
SCG and “Chemicals Business for Sustainability”
The direction for the year 2021 of Chemicals Business, SCG, as the manufacturer of feedstocks is aimed at the creation of a “Chemicals Business for Sustainability”. This will be achieved through researching and seeking out innovations that delivers quality products and elevate the quality of life for people in society in accordance with the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) model and UN’s SGDs (Sustainable Development Goals). To this end, a roadmap focusing on four areas has been laid out in line with the principles of circular economy, a concept which SCG has always sought to drive.
The first area focuses on the development of innovative plastic resins and solutions designed for recyclability while still fully retaining all functionality features, such as the example shown in this issue’s Innovation column, SMXTM Technology, which helps enhance the strength of plastic resin, enabling the use of less plastic resin to achieve the same properties.
Next is the production of high quality post-consumer recycled resin, or PCR, which is the recycling of post-consumer plastic to meet the demands of plastic packaging manufacturers and world-class brand owners. This is an innovative approach to creating alternative uses for materials and maximizing resource efficiency.
Another area is the advanced recycling process of post-consumer plastic into material for feedstock in the petrochemical industry. This is achieved through the development of cutting-edge and eco-friendly technology and manufacturing processes, which convert used plastic into recycled feedstock for petrochemical factories to produce into new plastic resin. This technology helps reduce waste and delivers solutions that are environmentally friendly.
The last area is the development of bioplastics from agricultural materials through collaborations with domestic and international research and development networks to derive knowledge from nature that will answer the needs of consumers, optimize quality, as well as function as a mechanism to alleviate the effects of global warming.
The most important role for business operators today is, therefore, to seek out techniques, methods, and innovations, with the environment and consumer as a priority, as every single person plays a part in building a sustainable future for the earth.