Compostable, ecological and Malay food packaging – Health Guild News


Advancing one more year in the pandemic, the plastic problem only increases in the country. To help you assess the severity of it, the Malays were used 148,000 tons of plastic food packaging in 2020.

The good news, though, is that local businesses have been popping up trying to solve this problem. An example would be Circlepac, which provides greener takeaway solutions packaging.

It started much earlier in July 2019, Recycling equipment is another startup facing this responsibility to help reduce the problem of plastic packaging in Malaysia.

Today, this sugar cane-based food packaging is one of two exclusive organic packaging partners for GrabFood retailers, but Team Recycler didn’t start out as a food packaging company.

A first idea that could not be allowed

“When we started in January 2019, we had the idea to provide composting services to big guys like Nestlé, KFC, Jaya Grocer and GrabFood to turn food waste into agricultural compounds,” said Weng Kien and Priya, founders of Team Recycler, shared with Vulcan Post.

The idea was not triggered due to the high investment and maintenance costs required to actually affect it. But as they discussed more with these target customers and realized the ongoing problem with local plastic waste, they made the decision to pivot.

Supply to older guys like myBurgerLab and Soft Launch Cafe / Image Credit: myBurgerLab (left) and Soft Launch Cafe (right)

“We spent almost 5 months planning, supplying, testing the market and executing our organic food packaging plan. During this time, we have obtained more than 100 different packaging products and met with more than 10 different manufacturers in China and Taiwan, ”they reflected on their R&D process.

Priya and Weng Kien sat through piles of samples and performed various stress tests with hot water and put them in the microwave and freezers before settling for their current range of packaging products. OEM sugar cane based foods.

Reduction of plastic, but not yet removal of plastic

Currently, 75% of its product range is based on sugar cane and has 30 types of products, including bowls, trays, shell food containers, wooden cutlery, cups, cornstarch sticks, and more. 6 months removal.

Although not all of its products are made entirely of biodegradable or compostable materials, as plastic is still used for lids and lids of certain containers. This is because they have not yet found a way to replicate the properties of plastic from being lightweight, transparent and durable which improves some aspects of takeaways and deliveries.

Editor’s note: Part of the previous paragraph has been edited to reflect greater accuracy of the statements.

We still need lidless options for lids and covers / Image Credit: TAF Meals (left) and Mr Wu Taiwan Restaurant (right)

However, Team Recycler does its due diligence to ensure that these plastics are 100% recyclable, so they only provide PET materials.

On the other hand, Circlepac completely eliminates the plastic covers and chooses to make them of the same material that use the containers.

Get GrabFood as a partner

The team credits its lead as the first reason why they established a partnership with GrabFood in February 2020. Today, their featured customers include The Owls Cafe, Soft Launch Cafe, myBurgerLab, Table & Apron , to name a few.

App merchants can choose to use Team Recycler’s services and the team has shared that this way they get between 8 and 10 new customers a month.

Aside from GrabFood retailers, they have also worked with non-F&B retailers like Top Catch Fisheries and Misteravo to pack fresh fish and fruit. During the pandemic, they supplied lunch boxes to several quarantine hotels in the Klang Valley.

“We would say most of our customers are still partially using our products, but we are working to convert them to make full use of them.”

Conversion of fishmongers and fruit sellers too / Image credit: Top Catch Fisheries (left) and Misteravo (right)

Half of the revenue from sales of 1 billion euros

“We invested a considerable amount in our packaging business when we started coming out all of May 12, 2020 and we were already profitable in nine months,” the duo shared.

Since then, they said their monthly revenue has been steadily growing and they are now halfway to reaching their first € 1 million sales revenue target in December 2021. After that is, Penang and Johor are where they seek expansion.

While they seem to have settled into their operations, Priya and Weng Kien now find that one thing that keeps them awake at night is how they will have to deal with an increase in demand that has doubled or tripled since the pandemic. As commodity prices and shipping costs have also gone up a lot, this worries us more.

“We have also taken longer to import our products due to port congestion and the ship’s space limit due to the pandemic. Fortunately, we have been able to minimize our buffer stocks and our customers as well. they understand “.

From container to compost in 6 months / Image credit: table and apron (left) and Li restaurant (right)

Higher MOQ for your products

While there are quite a few players in terms of biodegradable packaging, compostables are still quite rare, which so far we have only found that Circlepac and Team Recycler claim to create.

Did you know: Although biodegradable items refer to any material that decomposes and decomposes in the environment, compostable products are specifically decomposing organic matter, the end product has many beneficial uses that include fertilizing and improving soil health.

Nature’s path

Taking their containers for comparison, 100 pieces of a 2-compartment Circlepac container would cost 89 RMS, while 300 pieces of a 2-compartment Team Recycler container would cost 318 RMS. If you do the math, a piece of Circlepac costs 0.89 RM, while a piece of Team Recycler costs 1.01 RM.

The price difference is not too clear, but there seems to be a difference in the MOQ for its products, with Circlepac being the lowest in most of its offerings.

Today, Team Recycler has served more than 170 hotels, restaurants, cafes and home chefs with its sugar cane products, but the team knows this is just the beginning of its mission.

Like Circlepac, they are also looking to make a closed-loop composting service (where they collect the containers used for composting) along the road, as well as R&D to turn edible fruit coatings into a product that replaces plastic and wax.

  • You can learn more about Team Recycler here.
  • You can learn more about the greenest startups we’ve dealt with here.

Featured Image Credit: Weng Kien and Priya, founders of Team Recycler

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