Canada-based EPI Environmental Plastics, a research and manufacturing company in biodegradable plastic space, has decided to set up manufacturing facilities in the Middle East and India.
The company is also in the process of setting up warehouses to take care of logistics operations in Asian countries.
"We are investing $3million (Dh11m) to $5m in each facility and both the units will be set up as joint ventures with local partners. We are yet to decide on locations in the ME and India and considering several options.
We see lot of demand for plastic products. The region is also a major petrochemical hub in the world. We have decided to set up our warehouses in Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and South America. Our new manufacturing facilities proposed in the ME and India will have manufacturing capacity of 250-500 metric tonnes per annum each and we will expand the capacity over a period of time,' Joseph G Gho, CEO, EPI Environmental Plastics Inc, told Emirates Business.
EPI has manufacturing facilities in the US, UK and Canada. The proposed facilities will produce additives that make plastic products biodegradable. EPI additives can be used as ingredients along with raw materials in manufacturing plastic products. "We are scouting for local partners. We will also participate in Plast India trade fair. After the Arab Plast and Plast India, we will be able to announce our partners for the proposed JVs," he said.
Carrfour, LuLu, Tesco (US), Coop (Italy), Exito (Columbia), Wal Mart (US), Ciba (Switzerland) are preferring to use biodegradable plastic products, he said.
While explaining about the biodegradation process, Gho said: 'Biodegradation process would be completed in two phases – degradable and biodegradable. The triggers for degradation are sun light, thermal heat and mechanical stress as these would break plastic products down into tiny pieces. Depending upon
the product and application, it takes three months to three years for total degradation of plastic products. Then it becomes hydro phillic (that absorbs water). In the process, carbon becomes carbon dioxide and hydrogen becomes water and bio mass.