LG Chem, Coupang team up to reduce plastic waste

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LG Chem, Coupang team up to reduce plastic waste

Hur Sung-woo, right, executive vice president of LG Chem's petrochemical global business development team, and Ryan Brown, left, vice president of environment health & safety at Coupang, pose for a photo with plastic pellets and bags that have been produced from plastic waste after signing an agreement Thursday. [LG CHEM]

Hur Sung-woo, right, executive vice president of LG Chem's petrochemical global business development team, and Ryan Brown, left, vice president of environment health & safety at Coupang, pose for a photo with plastic pellets and bags that have been produced from plastic waste after signing an agreement Thursday. [LG CHEM]

 
LG Chem is collaborating with e-commerce giant Coupang on an eco-friendly project that recycles plastic waste.
 
According to an agreement signed Thursday, Coupang will collect stretch film, highly stretchable plastic wrap used to protect goods in logistics centers before transportation, and deliver it to LG Chem. About 3,000 tons of stretch film are being thrown away every year.
 
LG Chem will recycle the plastic into polyethylene film using its post-consumer recycle (PCR) technique. The PCR technique washes and grinds the waste plastic and makes it into pellets that can be reused as a raw material.
 
The recycled plastic will be given back to Coupang and the e-commerce company will use it to make plastic bags. LG Chem aims to recollect those poly bags for future recycling.
 
Korea produces about 800,000 tons of polyethylene waste a year, and only 300,000 tons are recyclable, according to the company. The two companies’ eco-friendly project is expected to “contribute to reducing the plastic waste that grows with the food delivery boom and promoting resource circulation,” LG Chem said.
 
In June, the two companies ran a test of the project for three months and succeed in making plastic bags with the recycled pellets.
 
“Combining LG Chem’s recycling technology and Coupang’s logistics system, we will be able to introduce an eco-friendly business model for our environment and society,” said Hur Sung-woo, executive vice president and head of petrochemical global business development team at LG Chem. “LG Chem will become a sustainable company that can commercialize various eco-friendly plastic materials and lead resource circulation, as well as promote a circular economy.”
 
Under the agreement, LG Chem and Coupang also promised to cooperate on finding ways to recycle other waste produced from the delivery process such as bubble wrap.

BY SARAH CHEA [chea.sarah@joongang.co.kr]
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