Leading the future of green industry with ‘biodegradable plastics’

Various plastic molding methods and control of physical properties for each product Producing products using existing production facilities and molds 신태섭 기자l승인2024.01.17l수정2024.01.17 11:56

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Cassava starch-based thermoplastic starch biodegradable plastics

Fully biodegradable in 42 days

Proprietary technology accelerates production of biodegradable materials and compound business

Green Whale Global is a company that drives sustainable innovation through the development of biodegradable plastic materials and products.  The company has developed and produced a cassava starch-based thermoplastic starch material, which is completely degradable in nature, 100% eco-friendly, recyclable and reusable, and a biobased material that pushes the physical limits of biodegradable plastics. Biobase is a material developed through the copolymerization of post-consumer recycled (PCR) and cellulose, and is recognized as providing a realistic solution to current plastic regulations and environmental issues. With these technologies, Green Whale Global has entered the nonwovens (medical, filter, tissue, etc.), cosmetic containers, 3D printer filament, vinyl, hangers, disposables, home appliances, and automotive parts industries, and is recognized as an eco-friendly company with excellent technology and high expectations for future growth. The company is actively engaged in the areas of material production and compounds, and has established cooperative relationships with various plastics manufacturing companies depending on the product and demand. The company is also actively improving various biodegradable products by compounding basic raw materials with its own cassava TPS (thermoplastic starch) technology to reduce prices and improve properties. CEO Yoon said “We have developed the world’s first technology to compound up to 70% cassava starch and a core technology that can be reused, and we are developing various raw materials and products. We are a bioplastic raw material manufacturer with unique compounding technology, and we have also secured the technology to produce TPS based on our unique technology. We have the technology to produce different types of raw materials for various plastic products and molding methods, and through this, we have developed and supplied various bio-biodegradable plastic products to the market, including price reduction and physical properties. Our TPS is more dispersible than other companies’ TPS, so the maximum input ratio of TPS can be increased, and based on this, it is possible to develop new compound raw materials with reduced costs and improved properties by compounding with existing raw materials. In addition, we customize raw materials for each product and mold according to the customer’s request and adjust the physical properties accordingly, as well as formulate and manufacture raw materials.” Thermoplastic starch can be used to modify polymers to facilitate the blending of various raw materials to create a variety of biodegradable products. Cassava starch is also a completely eco-friendly biodegradable material that biodegrades in 42 days, much faster than the 180-day biodegradation certification standard.

 

Biodegradable resin with cassava-based thermoplastic TPS

Low cost of production and complete eco-friendliness

Green Whale Global has secured the technology to produce biobased raw materials, an eco-friendly plastic raw material that dramatically reduces carbon emissions. This is because biobased raw materials are composed of 40~80% cassava thermoplastic starch (TPS), a biomass, mixed with existing plastic raw materials (PCR, PP, PE, ABS), which is in line with the resource circulation economy and reduces carbon emissions when incinerated, and can be applied to industries with high added value such as cosmetic containers, automobile interiors, electronics, and home appliances where biodegradable/compostable raw materials are difficult to apply. Biodegradable resins with cassava-based TPS have excellent economic performance compared to other existing biodegradable resins, with unit cost savings of 2.5 to 5.0 USD per kg for PLA, 2.2 to 5.0 USD for PBAT, and 1.8 to 4.5 USD for ABS/PP/PE/PCR. Biodegradable resins are completely free of PFAS (perfluoroalkyl + polyfluoroalkyl), a perfluorinated compound called zombie compounds, and are composed of natural, eco-friendly based materials, so there is no pollution to the soil.

 

Biodegradable plastics and bioplastic resins with stronger properties than previously possible

Various plastic molding and control of physical properties for each product

Producing products using existing production facilities and molds

Green Whale Global has developed biodegradable plastics and bioplastic resins with strong properties not possible in conventional biodegradable plastics by using PLA, PBAT, additives and formulation ratios, specially designed compounding equipment and patented manufacturing methods. This technology has led to the expansion of applications from soft products such as films and plastic bags to exterior materials for home appliances and automotive parts that require high durability, resulting in a wide range of products that combine ease of use, versatility, and durability. CEO Yoon said “We can produce a wide range of biodegradable resin products from soft to rigid, and we have improved the heat resistance temperature from 85.3﹎ to 123.1﹎. We can mold various plastics and adjust the properties of each product, and above all, we have the tremendous advantage of being able to use existing production facilities and molds.” Currently, the company produces biodegradable water-based materials containing cassava starch (20-70% cassava content), eco-friendly water-based materials made by mixing cassava starch with conventional plastics (20%-80% cassava content), and various basic raw materials, which are used to make biodegradable film bags, hangers, cosmetic containers, exterior materials for electronics and white goods, spoons and forks, extruded products including biodegradable straws, and sheet products such as packaging containers and trays. The company is rapidly increasing its market share by cooperating with many companies in packaging polybags and courier bags used in the fashion industry, and has begun exporting various disposable products such as spoons, straws, and forks to the United States with high performance at low prices. The cosmetic container, which will soon be developed and launched in the first half of this year, combines post-consumer recycled (PCR) with the company’s biomass and has already garnered tremendous interest in the market even before its launch. PCR, a recycling technology that reprocesses plastic waste and converts it back to its initial raw material, typically loses its physical properties after two to three cycles of recycling and is no longer recyclable, but Green Whale Global is able to further extend its reusability by reconnecting the thermoplastic starch resin to the TPS in cassava starch. 

 

High-volume production facilities in Southeast Asia and Korea

Various joint and precedent studies with domestic companies

Selected as ‘Korea’s Green Product of the Year’ and awarded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy

Growing into a global company through continuous research and development and overseas market expansion

Green Whale Global has a factory in Vietnam capable of producing 6,000 tons per year, and if the production volume is converted into money (based on raw material sales), it is worth about 60 billion won. The factory equipment has been specially manufactured with its own technology, and production is possible only when used in conjunction with Green Whale Global’s mixing technology. The company has a stable supply of domestic and foreign raw materials as it is a 100% in-house factory, and has secured a 1,487m2 site in Ulju-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do, where it will expand its biodegradation and resin production line, store a large amount of raw materials produced at its Vietnamese factory, and manufacture them for domestic use. It plans to supply it to the market immediately. In addition, the company has signed business agreements with Hyundai Motor Company, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, POSCO, Amore Pacific, Cheil Jedang, Hyundai Mobis, Shinsegae, and small and medium-sized companies on various bio-biodegradable products, including automotive interior plastic products, and is actively conducting joint and advanced research. All technologies developed in this way are registered as patents both domestically and overseas. In recognition of these achievements, the company was selected as ‘Korea’s Green Product of the Year’ chosen by consumers in July 2023, and received awards from the Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy in November and December 2023.

The company won the ‘CES 2024 Innovation Award (Honoree)’ in January of this year, and its technology was recognized in the global market, and its sales increased more than three times in 2023 compared to 2021. Green Whale Global is not satisfied with its achievements so far and has the goal of growing into a global company through continuous research and development and overseas market expansion. CEO Yoon said “We have currently received a letter of intent for investment from one state in the United States. From the time I founded the company, I thought about entering the United States, and I also set up my business structure accordingly. In the future, we plan to build a PBAT production base in an oil-producing country in the Middle East and secure selling power based on this by receiving crude oil at a stable and low price. We also plan to list on Nasdaq once the business stabilizes in the future.”


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