Taiwan Plastics Industry Association’s new chairman Benker Liao works with industry players to transform the plastics industry
TAIPEI, Nov. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Taiwan Plastics Industry Association elected Benker Liao, CEO of Benison & Co., as its new chairman on October 16. After taking office, Liao plans to implement three initiatives – digital transformation, talent training and R&D upgrades – so that the plastics industry can attract more professionals, successfully enable digital transformation, and encourage association members to transform their businesses in the pursuit of creating higher value.
According to available statistics, the plastics industry in Taiwan is home to around 7,000 companies, 70% of which are engaged in exports and constitute the main foreign exchange contributors to the region's economy. Special functional films for equipment used in the global electronic information industry and for medical devices as well as functional materials for environmentally friendly clothing are all made in Taiwan, and are also key foreign exchange contributors. However, in order to address issues including environmental sustainability globally and talent shortages that challenge the future development of the island's plastics industry, the industry is actively undertaking a sector-wide transformation.
The Taiwan Plastics Industry Association said that in 2018 plastic waste was added through an amendment to the United Nations Basel Convention, resulting in its disposal anywhere worldwide being subject to stricter standards. In response to the rise of a circular economy, players in Taiwan's plastics industry are seeking transformation, to turn plastic waste into valuable green building materials or repurpose them for applications with higher value.
To cite an example, Coating P. Materials Co., Ltd. (CPMC), which supplies nearly half of the world's plastic materials, has developed bio-based TPU, bio-based PU and bio-based POLYOL over recent years, in a move to change the production model in which plastic is made from fossil fuels and to incorporate the concept of sustainable recycling into product design. Inm Bem Industrial Co.,Ltd (IBI), a 40 years-old manufacturer, produces a recyclable, environmentally friendly and economic "plastic wood material" from semiconductor scraps and discarded plastic containers through a special formulation and process. The material can be 100% recycled.
Great Eastern Resins Industrial Co. Ltd. (GRECO) developed a water-based PU adhesive, high value-added TPU resins and high elasticity ETPU, replacing the metal-LFRT, PUR and dry film photoresists, and has established a global presence to serve customers worldwide. Frank & Associated Plastic Co., Ltd. (FAP) is no longer producing thermosetting plastics, and, in its place, has developed UV-resistant weathering materials, halogen-free easy-tear materials which reduce marine and environmental pollution, and decomposable plastic film which passes DIN and BPI certifications.
With the trend of environmental protection gaining traction globally, countries are committed to more aggressive carbon reduction targets and are taking actions to achieve them. The US, China, Japan, South Korea and several European countries have announced their zero-carbon programs, and, as a result, environmentally friendly materials are bound to become the accepted norm in the future. Taiwan's plastics industry, under the leadership of the Taiwan Plastics Industry Association, is entering higher-end niche markets, in line with the trend of providing high-value and environmentally responsible manufacturing.
As an illustration, Chi Meng Industry Co., Ltd, a global specialized manufacturer of rubber and plastic bun foams, has upgraded its equipment and developed recycling technologies, which can recycle foam board scraps. In addition, Chi-Meng has undertaken research to make improvements such as the unique KNOWHOW, which creates the foam by way of peroxide vulcanization, which not only replaces the traditional sulfur vulcanized EPDM foam, is also equipped with both excellent resistance to chemicals and insulation by semiconductor and electronics manufacturers.
The Taiwan Plastics Industry Association stressed that the plastics industry must move toward high-value and value-added materials. For example, a piece of medical plastic material with a profit multiple in the hundreds is something that Taiwan's industry players could easily see the value of developing. After taking office, Benker will do his best to guide association members towards high-value manufacturing, by abandoning the traditional manufacturing mindset. Industry players can only upgrade their businesses if they can truly embrace an enterprise-wide transformation.
Photoply, which was established 33 years ago, continues to seek breakthroughs in technology to develop sunglasses that are resistant to infrared rays, targeting functional and professional markets such as medical and aesthetic technologies, smart production lines and the sports sector. Shin Chin Industrial Co., Ltd. (SCI), founded in 1953, has undertaken a transformation that has allowed it to produce high-value products and enter the automotive lighting market, focusing on specific niches such as industrial engineering and agricultural vehicles. Long Team Industrial Co., Ltd., relying on its strong technological and digital abilities, has continuously pushed the envelope in terms of innovation, and has upgraded its plastic molds processes through application of the latest technologies, as part of its roadmap to embrace the Industry 4.0 era.
T.E Packaging & Gift Mfg. Inc. has invested in the research and development of organic films and bags with a low carbon footprint, and in the development of recyclable and environmentally friendly packaging materials. The firm has launched a 100% plastic-free zipper bag. In order to keep pace with the trend towards green building, Jiafenz Plastic Industrial Co., Ltd., the company has recycled a large amount of plastic waste, by converting it into recyclable plastic pellets and decomposable plastic pellets through a recycling process, then combining them with raw materials, to achieve a green circular economy with reduced use of plastics.
Sunwell Global, which has specialized in the production of packaging containers for over 40 years, has introduced advanced equipment and processing technologies in a move to develop and produce products made of PSP, HIPS, PET, EPS, EPP, PP, OPS, paper and other environmentally-friendly recyclable materials. New Particle Chemical Colors Corp. has launched the world's first set of color swatches for plastics meeting international standards, and specializes in the research and development of color master batches that are environmentally friendly.
Benker, in his role as chairman of the Taiwan Plastics Industry Association, plans to engage in industry-academia collaborations to train aspiring talents with the goal of assisting the plastics industry in achieving a comprehensive transformation, moving towards high-value development, and enhancing the competitiveness of Taiwan's plastics industry in the global arena.
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