Innovation That Matters

Innerbottle will work with LG Chem to produce reusable bottles | Photo source Innerbottle

A partnership creates a sustainable plastic recycling eco-system

Sustainability

LG Chem has partnered with Innerbottle—a reusable bottle maker—and CJ Logistics to recycle plastic waste into new packaging

Spotted: LG Chem, the chemical unit of South Korea’s LG Group, has joined forces with a local reusable plastic bottle manufacturer and a leading logistics company to establish a more efficient and sustainable recycling system for plastic cosmetic containers. The move comes as part of the company’s wider efforts to tackle the global issue of plastic waste.

While creating a fully sustainable plastic recycling system is the ideal solution to this issue, it is not easy to achieve. One of the biggest challenges is that plastic can only be recycled a few times before it becomes too degraded to be used again. This means that a lot of plastic waste is incinerated or ends up in landfill, releasing harmful toxins into the environment.

Core to LG Chem’s plastic recycling platform is startup Innerbottle. Innerbottle produces plastic bottles with an elastic silicon inner layer. When substances such as cosmetics have been consumed, the inner layer can be easily removed before inserting a new one. While the silicon layer is disposed of, the rest of the bottle can be re-filled and re-used. The process allows for an easy and efficient recycling method that could help to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills. LG Chem will source materials for the production of the reusable bottles and Innerbottle will produce them.

To further improve sustainability, the companies are researching the use of acrylonitrile butadiene latex (NB latex) as a replacement for the silicon inner layer pouch. This would potentially allow for a more flexible and durable pouch. The research is still in its early stages, but if successful, it could provide a safer and more environmentally friendly material for the food and beverage industry.

LG Chem has also partnered with CJ Logistics, a South Korean logistics company, to collect used bottles from customers. A website with an on-demand service will be created for the collection process. When a customer orders a new cosmetics product, a deliveryman will collect their used bottles. The collected bottles will then be recycled and used to produce new source materials for LG Chem’s plastic bottle production. 

Other recycling innovations recently spotted by Springwise include a new app that incentivises recycling, a system for collecting electronic waste, and a new packaging design that makes it easier to recycle drinks cartons.

Written By: Katrina Lane

Website: lgchem.com

Contact: lgchem.com/customerService

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