D&L unit, Japanese firm ink deal for eco-friendly products

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 07 2013 08:56 AM | Updated as of Jan 07 2013 04:56 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A unit of newly-listed D&L Industries Inc. and Japan’s leading chemical engineering company Showa Denko K.K. have inked an original equipment manufacturing (DEM) agreement covering the compounding, manufacturing and distribution of Bionolle Starcla.

Under the agreement, D &L Polymer and Colours Inc. (DLPC) will provide a full scope of services including export supply and local sales. The contract is valid until Nov. 19, 2013 with automatic yearly renewal.

DLPC effected its first shipment to Japan in December last year.

Bionolle Starcla is a starch-based material that is fully biodegradable and compostable.

According to the company, Bionolle Starcla will be compounded and manufactured in DLPC’s plant in Canlubang, Laguna, which has an existing capacity of 50,000 metric tons and fully compliant with the international management systems (IMS) standards in quality, environment, occupational health and safety.

According to studies, global production capacity for eco-friendly plastics will see a four-fold jump in five years from 1.2 million metric tons in 2011 to 5.8 million tons in 2016.

Bionolle Starcla is the latest addition to D&L Industries’ line of eco-friendly products.

DLPC is the only company in the Philippines engaged in the production of biodegradable compounds. In 2007, the company introduced BIOmate, a propriety mixture of additives that makes regular plastics decompose by oxidation and biodegradation. It’s now widely used by big and small retailers in the country.

The recent ban on the use of plastic bags nationwide has opened up demand for paper bags as alternatives. However, paper bags, unless heavily modified, can hardly meet the strength, ease of use and affordability of plastic bags.

D&L said Bionolle Starcla can be used to produce thin films used as laminates for paper products like bags and drinking cups, making them stronger, more heavy-duty, more water and oil repellent and, most importantly, eco-friendly.

In addition, these films can also take the place of regular plastic bags. After use, it can be disposed in normal garbage bins and eventually into dumpsites or landfills where regular biodegradation quickly takes over.

“Bionolle Starcla will breathe new life into the plastics industry, which has lost almost 40 percent of its business to the ban,” said Lester Lao, managing director of DLPC.

Showa Denko is a major manufacturer and marketer of chemical products serving a wide range of fields ranging from heavy industry to the electronic and computer industries. It makes petrochemicals (ethylene, propylene), aluminum products (ingots, rods), electronic equipment (hard disks for computers) and inorganic materials (ceramics, carbons).

The Japanese firm has overseas operations and a joint venture with Netherlands-based Montell and Nippon Petrochemicals to make and market polypropylenes.