The joint project is aimed at recycling plastic resources that can be collected from Coupang's fulfilment centre into polyethylene film through LG Chem's post-consumer recycle technology


LG Chem, Coupang collaborate on plastic waste recycling. (Credit: LG Chem)

LG Chem has joined forces with Korean e-commerce firm Coupang to introduce an eco-friendly project to recover and recycle plastic waste.

The joint project is aimed at recycling plastic resources that can be collected from Coupang’s fulfilment centre into polyethylene (PE) film through LG Chem’s post-consumer recycle (PCR) technology.

As part of the agreement, the Korean retailer will collect 3,000 tons per year of the stretch film being thrown away at its fulfilment centres every year and deliver it to LG Chem.

The chemical company will convert them into recycled materials, which can be reused for packaging and supply them to Coupang.

LG Chem stated that PCR technology converts waste plastic into raw materials in the form of plastic pellets through reprocessing such as sorting, crushing, and washing.

The PCR products are used by mixing them with existing products in a certain proportion to enhance their properties.

In a pilot project, LG Chem has successfully developed a recycled film that can realise the same physical properties as existing products while maintaining up to 60% of the PCR raw material content.

The project was conducted in partnership with Coupang for about 90 days since last June.

LG Chem said that eco-friendly materials recycled with its PCR technology will be applied to the retailer’s poly bags for the delivery of goods.

Both firms plan to build a resource circulation ecosystem that can collect and recycle poly bags leveraging Coupang’s logistics system.

LG Chem executive vice president Sung Woo Hur said: “We are able to present another eco-friendly business model for the environment and society by combining LG Chem’s recycling technology and Coupang’s logistics system.

“We will continue to become the leading company in sustainability by commercialising various eco-friendly plastic materials and taking the lead in creating a virtuous cycle of resources and a circular economy.”

Also, they decided to collect and recycle delivery waste such as air cap cushioning materials from customers using Coupang’s Fresh Bags.

Coupang deputy president Ryan Brown, who is in charge of Environment Health and Safety, said: “We are delighted to contribute to solving the plastic waste problem through collaboration with LG Chem.

“The biggest feature of this project is that customers can more easily and conveniently participate in the eco-friendly movement, and Coupang will continue to invest in infrastructure and technology to raise the level of customer experience to the next level.”