Korean firm goes all out to cope with waste plastics


By Seok-jae Kang
Vice President of the Asia Journalists Association

 SEOUL: As global plastic consumption increases rapidly, the amount of waste discharged is also surging.

The Korean Ministry of Environment reported recently that the total amount of waste produced in the country has continued to increase, with the latest figure tallied at 497,238 tons per day at the end of 2019, up 11.5 percent from 446,102 tons per day in 2018.

To solve this serious problem, many countries, including Korea, are making ceaseless efforts to carry out policies to recycle waste plastics.

One of the leading Korean companies in resource circulation that recreates waste plastics as “recycled resources” is RM (Recycling Management) Co. Ltd.

Since its establishment in 2006, RM Co. has accumulated technology and know-how in reproducing waste plastics with high-quality recycled resources (PET flakes).

With its head office in Osan, some 50km south of Seoul, Korea, the Korean company has various patents and trademarks applications in relation to the PET flake production process.

“More than anything else in our processes, the screening process and cleaning process can be said to be the biggest technology to produce colorless PET bottles as high-quality regenerative materials,” said a market expert.

He continued to say that “the biggest competitiveness is that the quality of PET flakes is improved and produced through several cleaning processes after screening using optical sorting machines and human screening processes.” “In addition, it contributes greatly to waste resources by constructing a facility process to reproduce r-chip by processing PET flakes. PET flakes and r-chip produced in this way are made of fiber, reborn as clothes, shoes, bags, and further made into PET bottles.”

RM Co. claims that it has the largest facility in Korea that can process 320 tons of waste PET per day and produces 290 tons of PET flakes.

RM Co. Head Office

RM Co. Head Office

The Korean company said that it established a consistent process of producing PET regeneration chips (r-chips) using the produced PET flakes. The company said that it is expected that greenhouse gases can be cut by 63 percent by producing PET regeneration chips corresponding to petroleum-derived PET chips. Producing 30,000 tons of recycled chips annually is expected to reduce about 29,000 tons of CO2 and has been reborn as a leading greenhouse-reduction company by recycling waste plastics.

RM Co. said that it is expanding its scope not only to resource-circulation projects, but also eco-friendly social infrastructure projects. It said RM’s corporate research institute is researching and developing Korea’s first waste plastic artificial intelligence (AI) screening robot in cooperation with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). The projected robot, a core technology of smart factory, uses RGE and NIR camera to classify plastics by color and material.

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