SINGAPORE - The first eco-solutions manufacturing plant here was officially opened in Tuas on Thursday (May 12).
The Green Lab, a 200,000 sq ft facility, will provide sustainable solutions for businesses, such as customisable biodegradable paper bags and compostable cutlery for food and beverage companies.
It also aims to supply clients further afield in the Asean region.
Green Lab was launched by Singapore print agency Print Lab and Times Printers, a member of Times Publishing Group. F&B and publishing giant Fraser & Neave owns a 60 per cent stake in Green Lab through its publishing arm, Times Publishing.
The launch ceremony was officiated by Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who also toured the new facility.
The plant uses fully automated machines to make highly customisable biodegradable paper bags.
It will also produce some of Singapore's first fully compostable plant-based bags, which can be used as an alternative to plastic carrier bags.
The facility will also serve as the first print agency to fully integrate the use of PVC-free banners and stickers as the base product for clients, and will provide a one-stop shop for fully compostable packaging for F&B firms.
Among the products will be a completely biodegradable and compostable bag called the Cassa180, made entirely from recycled industrial waste cassava roots.
The bag takes three minutes to disintegrate in hot water, or 180 days if simply left out in a backyard.
Green Lab will be a supplier of packaging made with Kraft paper, which is fully recycled or produced through materials that are sustainably sourced.
Print Lab group chief executive Muralikrishnan Rangan, also the co-founder of Green Lab, said: "We are creating employment opportunities (and) doing our business in a responsible manner to support the green movement. Our aim is to give companies the chance to make some changes to the way we all operate."
He added that the use of automation will also ensure that the products are not too costly for firms who choose sustainable options.
Mr Siew Peng Yim, Times Publishing Group chief executive, said that this facility will also offer a solution to companies that face supply chain disruptions and find it difficult to source packaging materials.
"Green Lab's local advantage will resolve part of the significant disruption in the global supply chain management and provide just-in-time deliveries to our local customers," he said.
"In addition, this will also help our customers minimise their carbon footprint.
"It is our hope that Green Lab can become a role model for other Singapore businesses, (showing) that it is possible to run an economically sustainable business while conserving the planet's resources."
The Green Lab's clients will include food delivery companies such as Grab, Foodpanda and Deliveroo. All three firms currently work with Print Lab.