BANGKOK (June 14, 1:30 p.m. ET) — Bioplastics groups in Thailand and Italy have signed an agreement to share know-how, coordinate certification and research initiatives, and develop business opportunities.
Rome-based Assobioplastiche and the Bangkok-based Thai Bioplastics Industry Association said in a June 13 joint statement that they reached a five-year pact.
“The agreement signed today will create a platform of high-level technological know-how, and above all will make a significant contribution towards determining certifications and quality standards which are indispensable for creating a clear and unequivocal definition of the reference parameters for bioplastics producers,” said Marco Versari, president of Assobioplastiche.
The agreement outlines four areas of cooperation:
• Sharing knowledge in industrial compositing and waste management.
• Establishing certification systems and quality standards.
• Implementing joint initiatives for research, market development and environmental policies.
• Developing business, training and networking initiatives.
Thailand's is one of the more active centers for bioplastics in Asia.
For example, Thai plastics producer PTT Chemical Public Co. Ltd. bought 50 percent of major American bioplastics maker Natureworks LLC last year, and the Thai government committed substantial research funding to bioplastics beginning in 2008.
The country is one of the world's largest makers of rice and cassava, and officials want to bolster the country's farmers.
“Thailand aims to become the Asian center of excellence for development of the bioplastics industry,” said Supachai Lorlowhakarn, director of the country's National Innovation Agency, in the statement. “The study of best practices for the management of waste and resources is fundamental for the creation of virtuous systems of sustainable development.”
The head of the TBIA, Phietoon Trivijitkasem, said the group is trying to promote compostable plastics and waste minimization, and will shortly introduce a new compostability standard for the country similar to the ISO 17088 standard.