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This Thai company makes food packaging out of bamboo to cut down on trash

To sort out Thailand’s mounting trash drawback, one company is popping to the nation’s flora.

Universal Biopack makes packaging that it sells to eating places and producers. But moderately than plastic, it makes use of a combination of bamboo and cassava, crops which might be extensively discovered throughout the nation.

After rising quickly in latest a long time, Thailand has develop into one of Asia’s greatest economies. But like many different nations within the area, it has been sluggish to attempt to fight the tens of millions of tons of trash produced annually.

“Waste management is a big problem everywhere,” stated Universal Biopack’s managing director, Vara-Anong Vichakyothin.

Related: The company turning 4 billion plastic bottles into clothes

The company is utilizing a expertise devised at a Bangkok college to make its zero-waste packaging. It hopes it should ultimately substitute many of the Styrofoam bins and plastic luggage that find yourself in enormous rubbish dumps throughout Thailand and different Southeast Asian nations.

Its eco-friendly formulation took 5 years to develop and is so adaptable it might find yourself getting used to package deal issues like furnishings and even telephones. The bamboo it makes use of comes from leftover scraps from the chopstick manufacturing course of.

UB Pack 3

In the cities of Bangkok and Chiang Mai, the place takeout drink containers and noodle packets line the sidewalks, the company provides eating places, natural farmers and different companies within the food and drink business.

But discovering new shoppers might be difficult.

Takeout food distributors in Thailand need to preserve prices down in a aggressive enterprise with skinny margins. Asking them to spend extra on packaging for environmental causes is a tricky promote.

“The local economy still does not support [this technology]” stated Universal Biopack’s founder, Suthep Vichakyothin.

UB Pack 2

But that hasn’t stopping different firms from getting into the sustainable packaging market in Thailand. Like Universal Biopack, they’re betting on rising environmental consciousness ultimately main to a rise in demand.

To develop into extra aggressive, Suthep’s company is investing. It’s aiming to ramp up manufacturing by constructing {a partially} automated meeting line at its manufacturing facility close to Bangkok and doubling its staffing from 50 folks to 100.

The objective is to enhance month-to-month capability from 300,000 models to a million.

Related: A startup that makes pencils that grow into vegetables

Rather a lot of the demand comes from abroad. One of its clients makes use of the pure packaging for coconut water it exports.

Universal Biopack says it is also getting curiosity in its merchandise from different nations, notably in Scandinavia.

CNNMoney (Hong Kong) First printed February 12, 2017: 9:08 PM ET

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