A 20-year veteran of international scrap trading and plastics recycling, Toland Lam now is shipping wood-plastic composite products made of recycled polyolefins and rice hulls from his 115-acre industrial park in Huizhou to the United States.
Lam's factory, Meixin Manufacturing Co. Ltd., features 1.6 million square feet, or 37 acres, of manufacturing space and annual capacity of 44 million pounds of wood-plastic composite decking, shingles, fence, railing, outdoor furniture and pallets.
At the Chinaplas show, held May 21-24 in Guangzhou, he said the capacity will expand to 110 million pounds in two years.
Shenzhen-based Meixin exports 100 percent of its output, primarily to the United States. Lam said the monthly shipment is about 15 containers weighing 22 tons each. His goal is to increase to 45 containers per month.
``The delivery time is about 30 days,'' he said.
Lam also owns Meixin's parent company, T&T Group Inc., which is based in Humble, Texas, and has warehouses and sales and distribution branches in the United States.
With a bachelor's degree in petroleum and civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, Lam returned to Hong Kong in 1989 and started a plastic scrap-trading business after working with Arco Chemical Co. in Los Angeles for a few years.
Two years later, he opened a joint venture in Dongguan to reprocess plastic scrap.
With the plastic recycling and reprocessing industries growing rapidly in China, Lam bought the land in Huizhou in 2003 and started Meixin with a $15 million investment last year.
He said Meixin is the largest producer of polyolefin-based wood-plastic composites in China.
Of the 40-some wood-plastic composite producers in China, he said, most use recycled polyethylene and polypropylene.
T&T Group claims to have 2,000 employees and the capacity to recycle 441 million pounds of plastic annually.
Lam is president of the plastics recycling committee of the China Plastic Processing Industry Association in Beijing and also president of the wood-plastic composite committee, formed in March.
Lam plans to consolidate his recycling plants in Panyu, Zengcheng and Dongguan into the Huizhou industrial park.
He also plans to sell wood-plastic composite products domestically in the future. ``The Chinese consumers may still have second thoughts about products made from recycled plastics. But, you know, they always follow the trends in Europe and North America. So, we are focused on export right now and we are confident the domestic market will catch up soon,'' he said.