Kuala Lumpur, 27 November 2019: Malaysian Bioeconomy Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (Bioeconomy Corporation) is eyeing Malaysia as a global bioplastics hub with the expected growth of local SMEs in the bioplastics industry. According to Bioeconomy Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Mohd Shuhaizam Mohd Zain, Malaysia has the policies, technologies, knowledge, infrastructure, and feedstocks required to create a dynamic and conducive ecosystem for the development of bioplastic.
He said that government policies such as the circular economy focus in the country’s Twelfth Malaysia Plan 2021-2025 as well as the Roadmap Towards No Single-Use Plastic 2018-2030 by the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment & Climate Change (MESTECC) provides strong support for the bioplastics industry to grow in Malaysia. Meanwhile, neighbouring countries like Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand that are major producers of starch, sugar and biopolymers respectively, can capitalize on the bioresin conversion technologies available in Malaysia to produce bioplastic materials.
“Furthermore, the abundance of non-food crops and agricultural by-products such as palm oil wastes can act as renewable feedstocks for the production of bioplastic. There are also many local universities and research institutions that are carrying out research and development (R&D) in converting agricultural waste into biopolymer or bioplastic. With Malaysia’s close proximity to significant bioplastics markets such as China, Japan and Taiwan, the country is primed to be a major producer and converter of bioplastic materials,” said Dr. Shuhaizam.
As part of the efforts to encourage SMEs in adopting bioplastics in their business, Bioeconomy Corporation held a seminar on Developing the Bioplastics Industry SMEs in Malaysia here today, in collaboration with MESTECC and Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC). Through a better understanding of the science and benefits of bioplastics from this seminar, Dr. Shuhaizam said he hopes to see more growth of local SMEs in the bioplastics industry who can penetrate the globally emerging green markets and boost the acceptance of bioplastic products among consumers.
“As of May 2019, Bioeconomy Corporation has facilitated 25 companies in receiving the SIRIM ECO-Label Certifications for their products, which serve as the standard for the implementation of bioplastic and biodegradable initiatives. We aim to increase the number of companies who receive the SIRIM ECO-Label Certifications by 50% within the next two years and we hope the seminar today will be the catalyst to achieve this target, in addition to spurring the development of the bioplastics industry in Malaysia,” added Dr. Shuhaizam.
Over 100 participants from the plastic industry including converters, manufacturers, retailers, and traders attended the seminar, which provided insights and best practices on the local bioplastics industry. Participants also had the opportunity to connect with players in the local bioplastic value chain and discovered opportunities to add new revenue streams from bioplastics.