South Korean company LG Chem partnered with domestic start-up Innerbottle to set up a plastic eco-platform that enables the complete recycling of plastic cosmetic containers. Designed to be entirely circular, the system will include eco-plastic production, manufacturing of packaging solutions, collection after use, and recycling.
Innerbottle offers sustainable eco-friendly packaging solutions, with more than 50 intellectual property rights registered domestically and overseas. In 2019, the company received Asia Development Bank’s “Start-Up of the Year” and “Red Dot Design Award,” in recognition of the innovative function and design of their products.
Using the plastic materials provided by LG Chem, Innerbottle produces cosmetic containers that have an embedded balloon-shaped “silicon pouch” inside a transparent plastic bottle. The used Innerbottle containers are collected through a dedicated logistics system, and then returned to LG Chem and Innerbottle who recycle them as raw materials for new production. Since a unified container with only LG Chem plastic materials is collected and recycled through a dedicated system, plastic resources can be quickly and completely recycled 100% without requiring an additional cleaning process. Since the cosmetic contents are only contained in the silicon pouch inside, the external plastic container can be recycled immediately.
LG Chem plans to provide eco-friendly plastic materials that are used in the production of the containers by Innerbottle. The two companies will create a distribution network and logistics collection system that can precisely track the path from container production to collection. The program will begin using the platform for cosmetic containers, with plans to expand its application to food and medicine containers.
Sung Woo Hur, Executive Vice President and Group Leader of Petrochemical Global Business Development at LG Chem, explains, “It is meaningful that a global conglomerate and a start-up are working together to create the world’s first plastic resource circulation platform which can potentially be market pioneers within the global ESG mega trend and create sustainable growth. LG Chem will work towards building an eco-friendly petrochemical business, which can sustain together with the environment.”
According to LG Chem, if just 10% (1.5 billion) of the plastic cosmetic containers discarded every year around the world are recycled, it could reduce 75,000 tons of carbon every year—the equivalent to planting 11.4 million pine trees.
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