Local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can spur Malaysia’s potential as a global bioplastics hub, according to Malaysian Bioeconomy Development Corporation Sdn Bhd. Its chief executive officer, Dr Mohd Shuhaizam Mohd Zain said the country has the policies, technologies, knowledge, infrastructure, and feedstock required to create a dynamic and conducive ecosystem for the development of bioplastic.
He said government policies such as the circular economy focus in the 12th Malaysia Plan 2021-2025 and the Roadmap Towards No Single-Use Plastic 2018-2030 by the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment & Climate Change (MESTECC) provided strong support for the bioplastics industry to grow. To this end, he said neighbouring countries like Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand that are major producers of starch, sugar and biopolymers respectively, could also capitalise 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,” he said in a statement today. He said with Malaysia’s close proximity to significant bioplastics markets such as China, Japan and Taiwan, the country was primed to be a major producer and converter of bioplastic materials.
To encourage SMEs in adopting bioplastics in their business, Bioeconomy Corporation in collaboration with MESTECC and Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) today held a seminar, ‘Developing the Bioplastics Industry SMEs in Malaysia’, here.
Mohd Shuhaizam 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 for SIRIM ECO-Label Certifications by 50 per cent 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,” he added.