Thailand is the world’s second-largest producer of bioplastic products, serving growing demand overseas thanks to plenty of raw materials to drive manufacturing, says the Thai Bioplastics Industry Association (TBIA).
The country’s production capacity is 95,000 tonnes a year and manufacturers plan to increase the volume by 75,000 tonnes a year, said Viboon Pungprasert, president of TBIA.
The US ranks first in bioplastic production at a rate of 150,000 tonnes a year.
“Thailand has high potential for bioplastic production because we are rich in sugar cane and cassava, which are key raw materials,” said Mr Viboon.
Up to 90% of bioplastic products are exported, with the rest sold domestically.
Bioplastic manufacturing not only adds value to Thai agricultural products, but also supports global efforts to cut carbon dioxide emissions and is one option to deal with problems caused by single-use plastics, he said.
“We aim to make Thailand a leader in producing and selling bioplastics in Asean. This goal is in line with our bio-economy development,” said Mr Viboon.
The bio-economy is driven by the use of renewable resources as raw materials to produce energy, food and other value-added products. It is part of the bio-, circular and green (BCG) economic development model declared a national agenda item by the Prayut Chan-o-cha administration.
The BCG model encourages manufacturers to adopt techniques that add value to products and cause little or no impact to the environment.
Making eco-friendly plastics is good for Thailand’s plastics industry, which plays an important role in supporting other downstream industries, said Veera Kwanlertchit, president of the Plastics Institute of Thailand.
Roughly 360 million tonnes of plastics are produced globally and production projected to grow by 6% a year, according to the institute.
Thailand produces around 9.5 million tonnes of plastics a year.
The country is preparing to organise an international exhibition entitled “Plastic & Rubber Thailand 2023”, with the theme of transitioning towards the sustainable manufacturing of plastics, said Sanchai Noombunnam, country general manager of Informa Markets, a trade exhibition organiser.
Source : Bangkok Post