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From being a flag-bearer to a game-changer

Source:International Plastics News for Asia

Date Published:8/5/2019 01:08:08 PM

Dow, a global leader in sustainable material science for high-growth segments, laid out a bold vision for the future; an interview with Bambang Candra, commercial vice president for Asia Pacific, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics
Dow, a global leader in sustainable material science for high-growth segments, such as packaging, infrastructure and consumer care, laid out a bold vision for the future at Chinaplas 2019. During the exhibition, which took place from May 21-24 in Guangzhou, senior executives from Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics (P&SP) shared an in-depth look at where the business is headed. 
The new Dow, which spun-off from DowDuPont on April 1, has a clear and undaunted ambition: To become the most innovative, customer-centered, inclusive and sustainable materials science company in the world. The new Dow has recommitted to building strong partnerships that develop game-changing market-driven solutions that satisfy consumer preferences around the world, developing an innovative value change to lead the way with sustainable development.
Bambang Candra, commercial vice president for Asia Pacific with Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics was among the executives who spoke with the media in a group interview.
Bambang Candra, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics
Mr. Bambang Candra, commercial vice president for Asia Pacific, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics
Sustainable development is at the core
Regardless of the application, sustainable development is at Dow’s core. Mr. Candra described plastics as a tool for a more sustainable world – despite popular claims that plastics are detrimental to the environment. He shared that plastics often provide greater environmental benefits when looking at the entire lifecycle of products.  The problem is poor waste management practices and infrastructure that lead to plastics entering into the environment. Mr. Candra is leading the charge to provide more sustainable offerings to customers while also helping to improve waste infrastructure across Asia.  
“Plastics are not going to disappear overnight. Plastic is a valuable, commonly used resource that brings comfort, convenience and safety to our daily lives”, said Mr. Candra. “The versatility and sustainability of plastics helps to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges, such as hunger. 
To help improve waste management practices, Dow initiated a variety of programs focused on the importance of sustainability and recycling, such as the MASARO project in Indonesia. The pilot project which kicked off earlier this year has already diverted more than 4,000 kg and turned it into useful materials like fertilizer and liquid fuel.  The company is also partnering with other various organizations throughout Asia to develop similar projects that turn plastic waste into new, valuable materials.
“Dow has also invested in the building of 90 kilometers of roads that use recycled plastics in the construction to improve road durability,” said Mr. Candra. “These roads diverted nearly 200 metric tons of plastic waste which is equivalent to nearly 50 million flexible pouches.”
With the current public perception around plastics, there are many people advocating for the deselection of plastic products. Mr. Candra believes this perception doesn’t match the reality.
“Restricting plastics production is a one-dimensional approach that does not consider all of the alternatives, and could result in doing more harm than good. Whether plastics are appropriate for a particular application should be decided on the basis of performance and sustainability, assessed strictly on scientific merits,” said Mr. Candra.
Dow Packaging
Tenter Frame BOPE (TF-BOPE), APAC innovation initiative, received the 2018 R&D 100 Innovation Award,
the 2019 Edison Award and Ringier Innovation Award.
Innovative solutions developed to meet consumer demands
In addition to sharing its sustainability initiatives, Dow showcased many innovative solutions at Chinaplas 2019 across these consumer-driven pillars: Protect for Packaging, Build for Infrastructure, Care for Consumer, and Move for Transportation. The eight products protect essential food and consumer goods with innovative packaging, care for consumers through materials science, build infrastructure with sustainable materials, and move people by making the transportation industry safer and more sustainable.
The innovative solutions displayed during the exhibition included Co-efficient of Friction (COF) Stable Resin XUS59999.110, Fully Recyclable Polyethylene Packaging based on BOPE, Down-gauged Heavy Duty Shipping Sack enabled by INNATE™ Precision Packaging Resins, OPULUX™ HGT Optical Finishes, Extreme PE Diaper, ENGAGE™ 11000 Series, and NORDEL™ 4571 XFM, 4771 XFL and 3765 XFL EPDM for the transportation industry, high performance elastomer and ethylene copolymer modifiers for polyolefin masterbatch. These products meet needs for safe food packaging, e-commerce logistics packaging and high-quality daily necessities. They make our lives easier, better and more environmentally sustainable. 
Dow Sustainable Packaging
Enhanced value chain is the key
Dow is a materials provider that also has expertise across the entire value chain. Mr. Candra explained, “We are stimulating innovation with seamless cooperation at all levels of our enhanced value chain. The traditional value chain is built around a complicated collaboration model that slows innovation. Our new collaboration model realizes high efficiency and accelerated innovation, uniting stakeholders throughout the value chain, from suppliers to customers, from associations, research institutions and equipment providers to designers and consumers.” 
“We pursue a comprehensive development strategy that provides solutions and products to our customers, as well as supporting the value chain downstream, and ultimately end-users. Our Pack Studios offer customized solutions that meet the design and production needs of OEMs, brands and designers.” 
Dow currently has eight Pack Studios globally, including three in Asia – in Shanghai, Mumbai and Singapore. These facilities speak to the company’s commitment to its business in Asia Pacific.
“In this fast-developing, ever-changing world, we not only face market challenges, but also regulatory hurdles. But obstacles are also ladders, overcoming them help us to march forward,” said Mr. Candra. “We demonstrate our commitment to sustainability by promoting a circular economy for plastic packaging, by addressing the global food crisis with packaging technologies that preserve the freshness of food from farm to table, and by leading in the creation of a blueprint for a better, cleaner, sustainable world.” 


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