LG Chem focuses on recycled plastic

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LG Chem focuses on recycled plastic

A prototype product made of LG Chem’s newly developed biodegradable material. [LG CHEM]

A prototype product made of LG Chem’s newly developed biodegradable material. [LG CHEM]

LG Chem, the chemical arm of LG Group, is prioritizing sustainability in its business strategy based on the concept of environmental, social and governance management.
 
The chemical company is innovating its business portfolio centering on eco-friendly product development and businesses. LG Chem strengthened its investment in research and development on plastic recycling technology and expanded its recycled material-based businesses, building up momentum for a paradigm shift toward a circular economy, the company said.
 
Creating a virtuous cycle with post-consumer recycled plastic has been one of LG Chem’s priorities in its sustainability transition.
 
Amid the global race to lead the recycled plastic market, LG Chem successfully began to mass-produce post-consumer recycled acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) in white, which makes the company the first to do so in the world.
 
ABS, one of the raw materials of plastic, is widely used as in household appliances. LG Chem produces some 2 million tons of ABS a year, holding the largest share in the global market.
 
LG Chem went through the research and development process for over a year to produce the post-consumer recycled ABS in white, the company explained. It was impossible to make recycled ABS in any color aside from black and grey before LG Chem succeeded in developing a new substance that can connect the separated molecules in recycled ABS.
 
According to LG Chem, noteworthy progress was also made last October when the company came up with the world’s first biodegradable new material. The new material has identical physical properties to synthetic resin and is significantly improved in terms of flexibility and transparency compared to existing biodegradable material. Its flexibility has been improved twentyfold, and LG expects it to bring a huge change to the eco-friendly packaging market.
 
LG Chem’s original technology in biodegradable core materials is what made the development possible, the company said. LG Chem holds a total of 25 patents at home and abroad related to biodegradable materials.
 
The new material will go through prototype assessment in 2022 and will be mass-produced starting from 2025.
 
Furthermore, LG Chem is joining hands with the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, or KIST, in a bid to develop and commercialize core technology essential in achieving carbon neutrality.
 
Last April, LG Chem and KIST signed a memorandum of understanding to co-develop eco-friendly technologies such as carbon capture and utilization.
 
The goal includes developing new technologies to produce highly-functional biodegradable plastic using carbon dioxide. LG Chem and KIST are also planning to develop technologies for eco-friendly green hydrogen production and new renewable energy sources.
 
LG Chem will recruit hundreds of new employees in the research and development departments to enhance its capability in the global battery market. The company hired over 250 employees in the first half of 2021, the largest number of new employees since the advanced materials business was first launched in 2019.
 

BY SHIN HA-NEE [shin.hanee@joongang.co.kr]
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