Materials In Works
Materials In Works
A Force for Good
Founded by a group of enthusiastic packaging material experts, Materials In Works (MIW) is tackling global warming and environmental pollution by reintroducing residual paper liner from the label packaging industry back into the value chain as recovered cellulose pulp.
Thus, the company prevents the valuable paper liner residues from ending up in landfills and focuses on recovering the cellulose pulp as raw material which meets the need of local paper manufacturers. Materials In Works has gained acknowledgment from the United Nations in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, such as SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), SDG 12 (Responsible Production and Consumption), and SDG 13 (Climate Action).
A Glance into The Crystal Ball: A More Sustainable Label Packaging Industry
The idea behind Materials In Works was initiated by the growing problem that there are tons of paper liner residues being generated by the label packaging industry as an unused by-product each day and that in Malaysia, the only disposal method is through landfills.
In Malaysia, 2.97 kilo tonne of paper waste is sent to landfills every day. This could fill Petronas Twin Towers, the Malaysian landmark skyscrapers, in 45 days! This has resulted in more GHG emissions, pollution and scarcity of land to accommodate an ever-increasing demand for space for landfill construction.
This motivated Ooi Chong Sen and Dr. Leh Cheu Peng (Technical Advisor and Professor at Universiti Sains Malaysia) to come up with a tech-based solution that recovers cellulose from paper liner residues for this cellulose to be re-cycled and used as raw material to make paper products again.
With Ooi Chong Sen's long-standing experience in the label packaging industry, he began a research collaboration with Dr. Leh at a renowned Malaysian public university. They conducted research on possible Green Chemistry solutions to recover cellulose from residual paper liner. Materials In Works succeeded in the lab proof-of-concept and is now ready to scale up their technology with the aim to contribute to a more sustainable label packaging industry.
Recovered Cellulose Pulp: A Circular Economy within Sight
Over 98% of paper liners are made up of complex sugar cellulose and have close to zero percent of lignin content which make it a very valuable source of material for making premium paper products, such as tissue papers, specialty papers, and food packaging. Not to mention that it takes 50 years to grow the trees that were used as industrial feedstock for these paper liners.
Materials In Works' circular economy solution helps in diverting the valuable residues from ending up in landfill sites. This is mutually beneficial for the environment and the paper products manufacturers, as price and availability of pulp raw material are key concerns for industry players as they are mostly imported in Malaysia and subject to pulp price fluctuations.
Materials In Works is able to reintroduce the residual paper liner into the value chain, via an IP-backed treatment process that turns it into a high-quality raw material for paper products manufacturers, effectively diverting the valuable residue from ending up in landfills. By reaching 60% of the Malaysian Market, Materials In Works would be able to save 54,600 trees from being cut down annually, which is equivalent to offsetting 10,920t of CO2 emissions per year. As such, with the proprietary circular solution, Materials In Works is able to reduce CO2 emissions by 79%, in comparison to conventional landfill disposal methods.
With funds raised from ECF, 30% will be invested into setting up paper liner waste upcycling plant. Materials In Works is scaling the proprietary technology developed in the lab into pre-industrial scale which will attract the early adopters on board by Q3 2023. The goal for the ECF round is to prove the technology is scalable and replicable to upcycle paper liner waste into recovered cellulose pulp. Then, it can be sold as raw material to make into paper products. The pilot plant is meant to upcycle 125 to 280 tons paper liner waste in a month and achieve financially self-sustaining afterwards.
The environment is important to humans and all other species. We are here to help future generations to be able to enjoy blue skies and green forests. And so, they collaborate with industry partners and public universities in the INDUSTRIAL SYMBIOSIS Program – a collaboration among industry enterprises to collaborate and exchange their by-products in achieving higher resource efficiency, waste minimization and hence reducing negative impact towards the environment.
ASEAN Countries Been Perceived as International Dumping Ground
Malaysia's landfills are quickly piling up. A single person is estimated to generate over 35kg/month of waste that ends up at landfills. Worse still, the label packaging industry contributes a massive 500 tons of paper liner waste per month, and due to the silicone content on the paper, it is treated as solid waste. Across Southeast Asia, waste paper liner from the label packaging value chain is also mostly disposed via the landfill method. At these landfill sites, pollution is also a very common problem, where contaminated water, such as Leachate can harm the surrounding environment. It is clear that there is a pressing need to tackle the issue of rising landfill waste, in Malaysia and Southeast Asia more broadly, and Materials in Works (MIW) has the solution for this.
Paper Products Industries Find No Substitute to Expensive Virgin Pulp
Most industry paper products manufacturers suffer from profit margin losses due to rising virgin pulp prices (raw material price increase of 60 to 70%).
Graph 1: Recent Bleached Chemical Pulp Price
Malaysia is a pulp importer country, they but have to still utilizing the imported pulp as the sole supply source for their daily production. The virgin pulp availability problem becomes prominent and worsen during the Covid-19 outbreak and recent Russia-Ukraine war, particularly when the industry is too heavily relying on a Just-In-Time (JIT) supply of raw materials for their daily production.
We have devised proprietary solutions to these problems at the landfill. We have an IP-backed treatment process that recovers cellulose back into raw material for paper manufacturers, it helps in diverting the valuable waste from ending up in landfill sites. This is mutually beneficial for the environment and the paper industry, as price and availability of raw material are key concerns for players.
MIW is also able to upcycle the paper liner waste, via our IP-backed treatment process into raw material for paper product manufacturers, effectively diverting the valuable waste from ending up in landfill sites. By 2029, we aspire to win over 60% of the Malaysia Market, then MIW is able to save 54,600 trees from being cut down, which is equivalent to offsetting 10,920 tonne of CO2 emissions per year. As such, with the proprietary upcycling solution, MIW are able to reduce CO2 emissions by 79%, in comparison to conventional landfill disposal methods. All in all, close to 60,000 tonne of CO2 been saved from emission which is equivalent to taking 13,000 cars off the road for 1 year.
Materials In Works (MIW) is a mixed paper waste management and upcycling company that intends to start small in Malaysia, serving industries, such as, Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA) Label manufacturers, PSA Label bottle packers, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and brand owners throughout Malaysia.
We aspire to grow with our partners to bring forward green upcycling programs to their clients based on our industrial know-how in the region. Our proven model ensures that all stakeholders in the ecosystem receive quality waste management service and solution products, most importantly helping them to achieve sustainability goals. Our aspiration is to become one of the leading high-tech mixed paper waste management and upcycling companies in ASEAN and we will make sure that we do all we can to excel favourably with leaders in the industry.
A lignin free, wet form chemical pulp with a mixture of Nordic Hardwood and Softwood fibers and it comes with high cellulose content (over 90%). The low kappa number of the pulp enable the making of premium products such as specialty papers, tissues, and food packaging.
In 2021, Materials In Works became the champion in Ecothon Malaysia SDG 12 Program organized by Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative, Korea Ministry of SME and Startup, ASEM SMEs Eco-Innovation Center (ASEIC), Hanns Seidel Foundation, Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research (CEDAR).
Few more remarkable achievements made in year 2022,
- Top 10 in Youth Co: Lab Malaysia Cohort Program, co-created by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Citi Foundation
- Top 5 in Environmental NGO Accelerator Programme, organized by Biji-biji Initiative and supported by Yayasan Hasanah
- Top 5 in MYStartup Pre-accelerator Programme Cohort 1, a national project initiated by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and developed by Cradle Fund
- Best Regional Impact Startup in International ISC3 Innovation Challenge for an innovative solution to solving an issue that is particularly relevant to ASEAN region
Materials In Works is working with renown public research institutions and universities professionals in several projects that will bring greater value to the company’s growth
1. Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
- Piloting Upcycling Solution to Tackle on Label Packaging Waste, potentially to capture yearly volume of 3,600 tons of paper liner waste available in Malaysia which translates to MYR 5.0 Million worth of revenue.
2. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)
- Recovering Clean PET from Thermal Transfer Ribbon Packaging Waste which had received full payment from a Japanese MNC client (potential to grow into MYR 0.5 Million worth of revenue in a year)
- Recovering Calcium Carbonate (Calcite) from Paper Sludge Waste, a promotion on cradle-to-cradle service for paper products manufacturer.
Other than the mentioned achievements, Materials In Works forecasting the company’s financial growth as illustrated in the diagram below.
Materials In Works focuses on serving B2B customers. Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA) Label manufacturers, PSA Label bottle packers, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and brand owners will be the target customers of MiW, engaging our waste handling services.
We work with the market leaders and ESG-driven companies in promoting our services. We will be putting more effort on establishing our service line in the waste collection and handling process to the key stakeholders and event marketing will be spent on promoting our brand and get recognize by Label Packaging Trade Associations (FINAT, CELAB).
As for recovered cellulose pulp sales, Materials In Works is targeting to work on selective customers that consume substantial virgin pulp and have high environmental awareness in Malaysia. The focus will be to increase and optimize the process of the upcycling production to a scalable and replicable process and ensure the product met the customers’ requirement. This will allow us to reach out to the paper products B2B market in 2H 2023 onwards.
Some environmental experts stated that the world market for waste, from collection to recycling is worth around 300 billion Euros (US $410 billion). The recycling business is therefore a growing business that has futuristic benefits; there are markets in the developing world that can be tapped into especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America. (https://www.statista.com/markets/408/topic/435/waste-management/#insights)
Materials In Works have been able to differentiate ourselves by having our high-quality products processed by IP-backed upcycling technology. We are earning by charging waste collection fees to the label packaging stakeholders at RM 308/ton and via the sale of recovered cellulose pulp as a raw material at RM 1672/ton. The high value lignin free recovered cellulose pulp is expected to fit for the making of premium products such as specialty papers, tissues and food packaging. The company initiative is supported by universities and research institutions to examine and benchmark the recovered cellulose pulp against virgin pulp with scientific proven data. The aspiration is to grow with our partners to bring forward green upcycling programs to their clients based on our industrial know-how in the region. Our proven model ensures that all stakeholders in the ecosystem receive quality waste management service and solution products, most importantly helping them to achieve sustainability goals. The key activities are:
- Collect waste
- Pick up and handle the waste
- Upcycling process
- Create new materials as raw material
With funds raised from ECF, 30% will be invested into setting up paper liner waste upcycling plant, Materials In Works is scaling the proprietary technology developed in the lab into pre-industrial scale which will attract the early adopters on board by Q3 2023.
The goal for the ECF round is to prove the technology is scalable and reproducible to upcycle paper liner waste into recovered cellulose pulp. Then, it can be sold as a raw material to make into paper products. The pilot plant is meant to upcycle 125 to 280 tons paper liner waste in a month and achieve financially self-sustaining afterwards.
Materials In Works is targeting Malaysia as the beachhead market to start with, estimating there are about 6,000 tons of paper liner waste available in a year which translates to MYR 8.4 Million worth of revenue with a CAGR of 5%.
With the commercialization plan following the ECF round, Materials In Works will be looking at selling recovered cellulose pulp as raw material for local paper product manufacturers but also charging waste handling fees to label packaging stakeholders in Malaysia. By the 3rd year onwards, Materials In Works will access the ASEAN paper liner waste market which is worth MYR 62.8 million, by tackling 45,000 tons of label packaging wastes in Indonesia and Thailand.
The label packaging industry is a mass market industry that produces substantial paper liner waste. In Europe, it attracts many local recyclers / up cyclers to tackle on the waste and generate profit from it. Among the recyclers / upcyclers, the identical ones are: Reculiner, Cycle4green, Les Recyclades and they are only focused in Europe region. To date, there are no competitors present in the ASEAN region, the wastes are handled mostly by conventional landfill disposers.
In ASEAN region, Materials In Works position ourselves distinctively with proprietary upcycling technology and processes that produce high quality recovered cellulose pulp as a raw material for paper products manufacturers. The initiative is effectively diverting the valuable paper liner waste from ending up in landfills.
We are planning to raise RM 2,000,000 where 30% will be used for setting up our pilot plant at Johor Bahru, Johor while 18% will be on OPEX and factory rental, 7% for team hiring and employee’s welfare, 10% will be on IP Filling, Licensing, and Permits, and 10% on marketing expenditures respectively. The remaining 25% will be used for administration which include shared services and platform fees.
We will offer 2 packages to our potential investors, designed to fit your unique investment plans. The Retail Package is designed for investors looking to come on board and support MIW’s cause and action, with 136 shares.
The Strategic Package is for investors who are keenly in tune with the potential of Materials In Works and would like to help propel us towards the future, receiving 680 shares with an additional 34 Bonus Shares to recognise your belief in our long-term vision.
Materials In Works is looking to supply reliable GREEN raw materials to specific industries by recovering valuable resources from collected industrial solid wastes and achieving ZERO WASTE to landfill goal.
Environment is important to humans and all other species that in which we live harmony and peacefully. We are here to help our future generations to be able to enjoy blue skies and green forests.
Next Step at Materials In Works
The startup is working on fundraising as to scaling up their technology to a pilot scale, with a focus on label packaging stakeholders. They are also looking for collaboration opportunities with other paper products manufacturers such as tissues, food packaging, and specialty papers. MIW also works on further improving the paper liner treatment itself, e.g., by reclaiming the silicone used for the anti-adhesive coating on the paper liners. Materials In Works operates mainly in the ASEAN region with Malaysia as the beachhead market. Materials In Works’ initiative is supported by industry experts, machinery suppliers and renowned Malaysian public universities. With their innovative solution for residual paper liner reducing the landfill and Green House Gases problems, Materials In Works contributes to SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), SDG 12 (Responsible Production and Consumption), and SDG 13 (Climate Action).
Ooi Chong Sen
Founder / Technical Director
• B. Sc. (Hons) Industrial Chemistry, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) 2014
• Ooi was a veteran in label packaging industry with more than 6 years’ experience working with regional and MNC label manufacturer. His experience ranges across product, B2B marketing including content building, sales & business development, managing regional customers and end users’ events. He was the Regional Product Manager for a Finnish based label manufacturer in Malaysia in charge of product / project management for high value segments and marketing activities across South East Asia Pacific (SEAP).
• In his experience, he made 1.5mil USD in sales value from a project involving direct food contact sealing label. Then, he managed to filed 2 patents out of the applications. Multiple sales achievements were made during his service, namely “Best Employee Award”, “Best Joint Commercial Development Team” across ASEAN and “Team Player of the Year”.
• Ooi started the paper liner waste up-cycling business in 2018 and founded Materials In Works. To date, Materials In Works has received multiple monetary / non-monetary recognition from NGOs, private enterprise and government bodies on the proven business model of up-cycling paper liner waste from label packaging industry.
Assoc Prof. Dr. Leh Cheu Peng
Technical Advisor from USM
• Doctor of Philosophy in Bioresource, Paper and Coatings Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) 2002
• Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
• Awarded with Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Science (JIRCAS) Research Fellowship in Pulp Bleaching Technology, 2003, Tsukuba, Japan
• 19+ years experienced Senior Lecturer / Researcher in School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) specializing in pulp bleaching, paper recycling, pulp & paper properties and more.
Asri Bin Anuar
• Bachelor Degree in Engineering (Electrical / Electronic), Universiti Teknologi Mara 2002
• Asri was a veteran in manufacturing sector with in depth experience in paper / coating / label industry.
• During this 21+ years, Asri was well trained on ISO 9001, OSHAS18001 & ISO14001, Plant Management methods In Manufactures (TQM), Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), Potential Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA), Statistical Process Control (SPC), 5S Implementation, Occupational Accident Investigation, HIRARC and JSA, Lean Sigma Green Belt, AESP
• Asri is responsible for production operations and production improvement and planning for Materials In Works. He is also involved in quality assurance, monitoring and improvement to ensure successfully delivery of recovered cellulose pulp to customers.
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