By James A. Loyola
D&L Industries’ subsidiary D&L Polymers & Colours, Inc. (DLPC) expects to boost export and domestic sales of its biodegradable plastic products after receiving international certification for its compostable biopolymers.
The certification came from DIN CERTCO which is a Berlin-based organization that does conformity assessment based on various international standards.
Two product lines have been certified. These are BC 9100 series used for films and straws and BC 9200 series used for cutlery and containers.
With the certification, biopolymers under DLPC’s proprietary Biorez line are now recognized worldwide as compliant with the European standard for biodegradable plastics.
Biorez can be used in most single-use plastic applications such as bags, straws, cups, bottles, and films for sachets. It has been exported to Italy for bags and cutleries application.
The standard sets out the requirements for biodegradable plastics which include, among others, heavy metal limits, 90 percent biodegradation within six months, and eco-toxicity testing which ensures that soil is still conducive for plant growth after biodegradable plastics have composted on it.
The Philippines’ standard for biodegradable plastics is an adaptation of the European Standard and US Standard.
“Biopolymers is an industry that we are developing in the Philippines. The market is now aware that we are the leaders in this technology,” said DLPC Managing Director Lester Lao.
He noted that, “this certification gives credibility to our brand Biorez which opens opportunities to service not just domestic but also overseas demand.”
“While the current contribution to our sales remains small, we are optimistic on the potential of biopolymers as the world shifts towards more sustainable and environment-friendly plastic materials,” Lao said.
DLPC is the only company in the Philippines that manufactures biodegradable products which are internationally certified.
D&L Industries, the country’s largest specialty foods ingredients, plastics and oleochemicals firm, is aiming to sustain double-digit profit growth this year after recurring income rose 10 percent to P3.2 billion in 2018.
In a press briefing, D&L President Alvin D. Lao said that, in the last quarter of 2018, net income reached P785 million, flat year-on-year as customers held back orders on concern over inflation and interest rates.
However, Lao noted “that has changed after inflation peaked late last quarter.” He added that interest rate may go down and business is always better during an election year, even if its not a presidential election.
D&L is also planning to ramp up its exports and plans to send more sales and marketing teams overseas to promote its products.
Blended gross profit reached a record high of 22 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, bringing the full year blended margin at 19 percent, up 2.3 ppts y-o-y.
The margin expansion is a result of the company’s increased focus on R&D and demonstrates the company’s ability to effectively pass on price changes to customers.
The company aims to further grow both margins and market share, by continuing to develop specialized products in accordance to specific customer needs.
Exports as percentage of total revenues stood at 24 percent in 2018. In the fourth quarter alone, exports as percentage of total revenues reached a high of 27 percent.