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Myanmar to export recycled plastic pellets

Photo: EPA. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

Pan Pacific Agency | COMMUICATION AGENCY FOR PACIFICA REGIONS

YANGON, Jun 17, 2019, Myanmar Times. Myanmar will be exporting recycled plastic pellets to China under a new agreement, according to an industry body. Arrangements are underway to export the plastic pellets, which are made from melting the old plastic materials, to China, said U Soe Min, acting chair of Recycling Subcommittee which is affiliated to Myanmar Plastic Entrepreneurs Association, reported the Myanmar Times.

Plastic resin pellets (also known as nurdles) are raw materials the size of a lentil used in manufacturing plastic products such as soda bottles, caps and food containers. Recycling plastic in this method also keeps it out of landfills where it can take 500 years to break down.

Two months ago, a sample batch of recycled nurdles was exported to China, and the country said that it will be purchasing the full volume of export, he said. However, the exact amount and date of the export has not yet been discussed.

“We export [the pellets] to China now as a trial. It has been only for two months. If they find our exports desirable they will accept. But, they don’t like the quality or they don’t buy, we will incur losses for our logistics costs,” said U Soe Min.

‘If they find our exports desirable they will accept. But, they don’t like the quality or they don’t buy, we will incur losses for our logistics costs,’ said U Soe Min, Myanmar Plastic Entrepreneurs Association.

Coordination meetings will be held to export recycled plastic pellets regularly and the market demand of plastic pellets in China is high, he added.

The types of plastic pellets, from which polypropylene bags are made, will be exported to the Chinese market. The lack of domestic demand necessitates exporting to foreign markets.

The price of the plastic pellets is K200 per pound depending on its quality, he said. Depending on its type, a variety of products such as chairs, tables, and tarpaulin can be made from the material.

Around the world, recycling businesses are operating with the support from their own governments, there is no such support from the Myanmar government, according to the recycling business owners. There are around 400 recycling business owners in Yangon and Mandalay, who buy used plastic materials recycling them for reuse.

The existing entrepreneurs will be organised to strengthen the Recycling Entrepreneurs Association, and requirements will be discussed with officials from the relevant ministries, said U Soe Min.

The current 5-percent commercial tax remains a challenge for the business owners, association members say.

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