How Capgemini is digitally transforming plastic recycling

By Kate Birch
With the goal of creating a truly circular economy for plastics in Southeast Asia, Heng Hiap partners with Capgemini to boost its digital transformation...

Struggling to keep up with the pace of demand for its quality recycled plastic, and with a long-term goal to create a truly circular economy for plastics in Southeast Asia, Heng Hiap Industries turned to Capgemini to help them digitally transform and thereby accelerate recycling.

Heng Hiap has been doing a stellar job on the sustainability front for the past 18 years. In fact, the company, which recently secured the Frost & Sullivan 2020 Malaysia Smart Waste Solutions Technology Innovation Award, has been doing such a good job, creating quality recycled plastic from discarded plastic, that the Malaysia-headquartered company can’t keep up with demand from its customers, which span 33 countries and include South Korean appliance manufacturers, Japanese car companies and chose in the building materials sector. 

And the reason it can’t keep up is down to its manual and somewhat complication collection processes which rely on pen and paper transactions and in-person negotiations. 

Goal to create a plastics circular economy

And that’s where global digital transformation consultancy firm Capgemini comes in. By helping to digitally transform Heng Hiap’s plastic recycling operations – a complicated process which currently involves working with 28,000 domestic plastic recyclers to buy and convert plastic scraps into high performance resin before selling on to clients – Heng Hiap will be able to instead collect more and better-quality plastic by extending its collection infrastructure beyond informal collectors and grassroots recycles, all the way to the household level, via a simplified and user-friendly collection process.

The ultimate goal for Heng Hiap is to create a truly circular economy for plastics by helping its B2B customers address the growing pressure from eco-conscious consumers for greater transparency and traceability. It’s a goal, says Capgemini Southeast Asia’s COO Sumit Nurpuri that not only “challenges the traditional mode of plastic consumption”, but is “set to reshape the future of plastic recycling in the region”

Roadmap to digital transformation

And to help turn Heng Hiap’s goal of a circular economy for plastics into reality, a team from Capgemini’s Applied Innovation Exchange along with specialists in design and digital customer experience, have created a 5-year business model. 

According to Capgemini, the team had a clear focus on a number of key success factors. These include leveraging conscious consumers as driving the demand for recycled plastics; making the adoption of the solution attractive to both collectors and consumers; and providing a solution that meets the public compliance and sustainability commitments of the brands that consumers love.

One of the main points proposed is that of a mobile application designed to revolutionise the plastic recycling process by introducing a new way for consumers to recycle their waste. 

Through the app, consumers can request a pickup of their recyclables from their doorstep while collectors can respond to requests, plan routes, track consumer satisfaction ratings, and receive payments digitally. Not only does the app make collection easier, it also motivates consumers to recycle their plastic waste through gamifying the process by earning points each time they recycle their plastics. This solution helps introduce a new source of plastic directly from households, that can be sorted and cleaned, and enhances visibility on the transportation and overall processing of plastic waste.

“With integrated traceability and digitsation innovations, we can achieve a greener world and keep waste out of the ground and oceans for good” says Seah Kian Hoe, Founder and MD of Heng Hiap Industries.

About Heng Hiap Industries

As a fully integrated recycling company in Malaysia, it stands out for its contribution to accelerating the development of the country's smart waste solutions space that promotes circular economy-based sustainable practices.

Formed in 2002, Heng Hiap creates high-value and customisable plastic resin products used in specialised niche applications. The first company in the world to be awarded the Ocean Bound Plastic certificate by Zero Plastic Ocean, it is also GRS certified for its 100% recycled materials, and SMETA certified for social compliance. The company stands at the forefront of developing innovative plastics technologies with more than 70% of its output exported to 30+ countries around the world.


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