TOKYO - Development of biodegradable plastics is a fast-growing area of Japanese research. Now, in a five-year joint project, Japan's Agency of Industrial Science and Technology will work with Thailand to develop stronger and longer-lasting plastic materials based on tapioca.
The cassava plant, from which tapioca is produced, is a major agricultural product in Thailand, and tapioca itself is Thailand's leading starch product.
If tapioca can become the basis of high-quality, biodegradable plastics, researchers will have a new source of low-cost, high-purity raw material for plastics production.
AIST's Thai partners in the project are the Tapioca Research Development Institute and a national university.
AIST, which is a part of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, will use technology for starch-based, biodegradable plastics developed earlier by MITI's National Institute of Bioscience and Human Technology.
PolyKlean planning second wash line
CHARLESTON, S.C. - In eight months, PolyKlean Inc. has identified a niche and filled it so well that the company is planning an expansion by mid-1996.
Office manager Dawn Adams said the firm, which specializes in sorting, washing and toll grinding waste plastic, plans a second complete wash line.
The firm, which began in March, operates one line in Charleston. Most of the production has been of PET, but the plant also can do high density polyethylene, or polypropylene, with a capacity of 1.5 million pounds per month of washed flake.
MRC Polymers gets dual ISO certification
CHICAGO - MRC Polymers Inc. has become one of the first plastics recyclers to attain International Organization for Standardization certification for both product design and manufacturing processes.
Robert Wells, quality assurance manager for the Chicago recycler, said the firm's ISO 9001 certification covers not only the quality of production, but also the design of products and administration.