A MOST ELEGANT PIVOT
Updated: Mar 31
or Hi Diddle Dee Dee, part 2. (Read part 1 here – you’ll thank me)
The news from Thailand was swift and categorical: Due to adverse market conditions, our esteemed customer and partner had suddenly found its operations suspended. Effective immediately. It was so unexpected that it was almost funny.
For the past 12 months, our chief focus had been the preparations for launching PlastX in Bangkok. We’d established a network of allies to assist us on the ground; websites had been built; the app, user-tested and tweaked; training material for Collectors (explaining the crucial differences between HDPE and the LDPE that our customer wanted) had been created, translated, and published. Flights had been booked.
But in the blink of an eye, it was gone. PlastX Bangkok was a dead duck.
With supreme irony, the crowdfunding campaign we’d launched to parachute ourselves into Thailand for the pre-commercialisation trial, was going gangbusters.
Loyal supporters had come out of the woodwork to back us. Family… dear friends… past colleagues… ex-lovers… a sibling’s next door neighbour.
It amounted to $AUD ten thousand reasons not to retreat into a cave. Instead, we mined our contacts, scoured LinkedIn, hit the phones, the Zooms, the What’s Apps and the emails - and propelled ourselves into The Great Pivot.
Selamat Datang ke Malaysia
Having hosted a successful Plasticity event in Kuala Lumpur a few years ago, we knew we had strong relationships in Malaysia. And our research told us that the country was clearly in need of sustainable solutions to its waste plastic problems. (A 2021 study estimates Malaysia to be the globe’s 3rd largest producer of marine plastic; and the Klang River, which flows through KL and Selangor, the second-greatest plastic emitting river in the world.) It all made for a compelling argument for us to target Malaysia.
That, and our abiding love of Char Kway Teow.
Today, we are delighted to announce that the PlastX Project will steam ahead in lovely Malaysia, with our new customer & principal partner – one of the country’s leading innovators in sustainable recycling - Diyou Fibre.
Having produced recycled materials from post-consumer plastics for more than 20 years, Diyou is now pioneering an FDA approved process that allows them to convert post-consumer PET (polyethylene terephthalate) into food grade rPET. (Which is a big deal. More commonly, PET is recycled into fibres, filaments, or strapping.)
It may have been a whirlwind courtship, but the synergies are breathtaking, and we’re hugely excited that PlastX will be responsible for contributing PET for this groundbreaking work.
PlastX Malaysia 2023
Thanks in no small part to the generosity of our crowdfunders - and to Diyou Fibre's faith in the PlastX model - we'll be on the ground in KL in a matter of weeks, to put PlastX fully to the test. That's when the hard work really starts!
Photo by Ridhwan Nordin on Unsplash