Total Corbion, Posco, and ESOL Team Up to Revolutionize PLA Recycling in South Korea

  • 4-Apr-2023
  • Journalist: Jaideep

South Korea: TotalEnergies Corbion, Corbion's partner in bioplastic, has joined forces with POSCO International and ESOL to establish a South Korean partnership focused on developing Polylactic Acid (PLA) recycling infrastructure and technology. The partnership will boost the country's Carbon Neutrality framework over the next several years. POSCO International is committed to growing its range of eco-friendly products and is now aiming to venture into the biobased plastic recycling industry. To achieve this, POSCO International will take charge of the project's funding and management, while ESOL will be responsible for recovering post-consumer recycled (PCR) PLA waste and enhancing the technology for collecting, sorting, cleaning, purifying, and reforming PLA. Additionally, the program will benefit from the TotalEnergies Corbion's proficiency and track record in advanced PLA recycling.

TotalEnergies Corbion has announced that it is already supplying Luminy rPLA, a recycle-based PLA, to South Korea. As the PLA market is rapidly growing, this is an excellent alternative with a low carbon footprint to traditional plastics. According to recent reports, the bioplastic industry is experiencing an impressive yearly growth rate of more than 20%. One reason for this trend is the rise of advanced recycling methods, such as Luminy's mechanical techniques, which are helping Polylactic Acid (PLA) emerge as the preferred material for food packaging and service products, including containers and bottles.

PLA, being a biobased and low carbon footprint material, possesses impressive recycling capabilities that make it an ideal circular material. In this endeavor, Corbion is developing a plan for the local reprocessing of PLA waste to hasten the shift to a circular economy.

In the Korean market, a wide range of eco-friendly products based on PLA has been introduced by ESOL, a company from Korea. The company aims to establish an efficient PLA recycling structure by utilizing the advanced recycling technology and infrastructure of TotalEnergies Corbion throughout its supply chain. The expected growth of the PLA market in Korea is a positive sign towards the sustainable use of plastics, and ESOL is committed to contributing to this cause.

POSCO International has been making strides in the bioplastics industry since it entered the market in 2019. Its dedication to promoting eco-friendliness in the plastics industry has helped to bolster its standing, and it continues to expand its market power. In line with its commitment to sustainability, POSCO International has set a goal to complete the development of PCR of PLA technology by 2026. In addition, it has partnered with ESOL to create the Green Butterfly campaign, aimed at encouraging the recovery of used PLA.

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