LG Chem and Coupang Join Hands To Recycle The Plastic Waste From Deliveries2021.09.09
■ Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on the 9th to facilitate recycling of plastic and creating a virtuous cycle of resources
□ 3,000 tons per year of waste plastic will be collected from Coupang’s fulfillment centers nationwide and recycled by LG Chem
□ Eco-friendly project created through partnership between Korea’s largest chemical and e-commerce companies
■ Further plans to actively cooperate on the idea to collect and recycle delivery waste such as poly bags and air cap cushioning materials from customers using Coupang's logistics system.
□ Collaboration between the two companies is expected to increase the recycling rate in the industry and build a related ecosystem.
■ Sung Woo Hur, Executive Vice President and Group Leader of the Global Business Development Group, Petrochemicals,
“Establishment of another eco-friendly business model for the environment and society by combining LG Chem's recycling technology and Coupang's logistics system”
“We will continue to become the leading company in sustainability by commercializing various eco-friendly plastic materials and taking the lead in creating a virtuous cycle of resources and a circular economy.”
LG Chem will partner with Coupang, Korea's largest e-commerce company, to launch an eco-friendly project for the recovery and recycling of plastic waste.
This is to reduce the surge in waste created from deliveries and to circulate the relevant resources.
LG Chem announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for ‘plastic recycling and establishment of a virtuous cycle ecosystem' on September 9th at the Coupang Headquarters in Jamsil, Seoul, in the presence of executives from both companies, including Sung Woo Hur, Executive Vice President at LG Chem, and Ryan Brown, Deputy President of Coupang.
With this agreement, Coupang will collect 3,000 tons per year of stretch film that are put to waste from fulfillment centers across the country and deliver it to LG Chem.
LG Chem will convert them into recycled materials that can be used again for packaging and supply it to Coupang.
*Stretch Film: A plastic wrap for logistics packaging used to fix items loaded in fulfillment centers and industrial sites so that they do not shake.
This bilateral eco-friendly project aims to recycle plastic resources that can be collected from Coupang's fulfillment center into polyethylene (PE) film through LG Chem's Post-Consumer Recycle (PCR) technology.
*Polyethylene: A plastic material manufactured by polymerizing ethylene. It has excellent machinability, flexibility, transparency, and durability, so it is used for various purposes such as different types of packaging materials, transparent films, food containers, and toys.
PCR is a recycling technology that converts waste plastic into raw materials in the form of plastic pellets through reprocessing such as sorting, crushing, and washing.
PCR products are typically used by mixing them with existing products in a certain proportion to improve the properties that have fallen due to the nature of recycled resins.
Through a pilot operation of the stretch film collection and recycling project with Coupang for about three months since last June, LG Chem has succeeded in developing a recycled film that can realize the same physical properties as existing products while maintaining up to 60% of the PCR raw material content.
Eco-friendly materials recycled with LG Chem's PCR technology will be applied to Coupang's poly bags for delivery of goods.
The two companies plan to build a resource circulation ecosystem that can collect and recycle the poly bags by actively utilizing Coupang's logistics system.
In addition to poly bags, the two companies also decided to actively cooperate on the idea to collect and recycle delivery waste such as air cap cushioning materials from customers using Coupang's Fresh Bags.
*Fresh Bags: Insulated bags which are used to deliver Coupang’s groceries. They can be washed and reused, and are used as an eco-friendly alternative to regular paper boxes.
LG Chem and Coupang’s eco-friendly project is expected to reduce delivery waste, which is increasing rapidly in the “untact” age, and contribute to increasing the recycling rate of related resources.
According to the industry research, the amount of waste collected in the domestic polyethylene market reaches 800,000 tons per year, while the amount of recycled resin that can be recycled is estimated to be about 300,000 tons. With a recycling rate of only 40%, the remaining plastic resources are incinerated, landfilled, or turned into waste fuel. Efforts to increase the recycling rate and the establishment of a related ecosystem are necessary.
Ryan Brown, Deputy President of Coupang who is in charge of Environment Health and Safety, stated “We are delighted to contribute to solving the plastic waste problem through collaboration with LG Chem.
The biggest feature of this project is that customers can more easily and conveniently participate in the eco-friendly movement, and Coupang will continue to invest in infrastructure and technology to raise the level of customer experience to the next level.”
Sung Woo Hur, Executive Vice President of LG Chem and Group Leader of the Global Business Development Group, Petrochemicals, stated “We are able to present another eco-friendly business model for the environment and society by combining LG Chem's recycling technology and Coupang's logistics system.
We will continue to become the leading company in sustainability by commercializing various eco-friendly plastic materials and taking the lead in creating a virtuous cycle of resources and a circular economy.”