1 Sept 2001
Plastic Preference(HKTDC Packaging, Vol 02,2001)
|The management at Creative Pak Industrial Co looks to new and developing markets to expand sales for many of its products, such as these cosmetic bags.|
"Paper bags are not environmentally friendly because they are made by cutting down trees. Shopping bags made of low density and high density poly are more environmentally friendly, being made from residues generated by the petroleum industry," he says.
"Hong Kong should do more to recycle plastics and use less paper. The government promotes the wrong message by encouraging people to use less plastic. If you do not promote the use and recycling of plastics, we will end up cutting down more trees to make paper."
Creative Pak supplies more than 10 tonnes of garbage bags per month to hotels, restaurants, convention centres and housing estates in Hong Kong. The company also exports containers of recycled polybags and garbage bags to the US, especially Hawaii. These products are made using mostly recycled PE from used bags because prime-grade material is much more expensive.
A polybag made from virgin or prime-grade material can be recycled more than five times, Lam says. In contrast, prime-grade paper can be recycled only about three times.
"Even so, for most recycled paper, only 25-50% recycled materials can be mixed, with the remaining contents being chemical and virgin material. On the other hand, 100% of the materials used in a polybag can be reused," Lam says.
|Recycled packaging from Creative Pak Industrial Co is not only environmentally friendly, but also colourful and attractively patterned.|
"Creative Pak is very concerned about the environment, and we have led the way by designing a completely recyclable polybag.
"We also import used polybags from Canada, the US and Japan to make new polybags from recycled materials. We encourage customers to send used bags to our return stations," Lam says.
Hong Kong has much to learn about conservation, Lam believes. "Previously, Western Europeans discouraged use of polybags. In the past 3-4 years, however, they have used more polybags to reduce paper-bag consumption. In most Western European countries, each polybag contains at least 10% recycled aterials."
Lam says gift bags used to be a major niche market for paper-bag factories, but now major US companies like Hallmark Cards and American Greetings are switching to polybags. West European and Japanese customers are following suit.
Established in Hong Kong in 1978, the company moved its factory 15 years ago to Guangdong Province on the Chinese mainland, where it employs about 600 workers.
Creative Pak's major markets are the US, where it exports about 50% of its output, Japan (20%), Western Europe (20%), and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South Africa (together 10%).
However, Creative sees a shift in its target markets. Lam anticipates fewer polybag sales to the US accompanied by increased exports to new and developing markets.
"For instance, we see growing numbers of customers from Russia and more high-end clients from an expanding market base in the Middle East and South Africa," says Lam.
WRITTEN BY ARAVIND VIDYADHARAN
Creative Pak Industrial Co
Flat C, 25/F, Block 4
Golden Dragon Industrial Centre
182-190 Tai Lin Pai Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Tel: (852) 2429-7481
Fax: (852) 2420-0182
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