Exhibitions and events are not exactly the environmentally-friendly industries because of the large amount of material wastage after the exhibition is over.
Although the International Greentech & Eco products Conference & Exhibition (IGEM) that started in 2010 is no different, it does however, have a redeeming virtue. The event is the premier green event in the region and is fast becoming a must-attend event among businesses and individuals who were seeking ideas and solutions on how they can green their business or homes.
Truth be told, the exhibits showcased were mind-boggling.
From the bizarre such as turning recycled PET plastic bottles into glamourous fabrics or 9-storey high buildings, to the practical such as rainwater harvesting systems for homes, to impressive large-scale operations such as turning rubbish into energy or using bacteria for farming and soil control, the exhibits in IGEM never fail to amaze and educate.
For ease of navigation, the exhibition is divided into 6 categories, each with their own unique sell-out points. Outstanding displays at IGEM2011 include these:
GREEN PACKAGING AND ENERGY-SAVERS
Did you know consumer packaging is the biggest contributor to the world’s landfills? Our fast-paced society is increasingly switching to disposable items – plastic bags, food and drink containers, eating utensils and stationery – that are accessible, convenient and affordable, oblivious to the unnecessary waste we are leaving behind.
Fortunately many packaging companies are starting to come up with eco-friendly options, such as Eco Basis Trading, which produces premium products using recycled paper, jute and bamboo, paper producer aeiou Studio Sdn bhd, which promotes the use of paper made from palm fibre and Telic Paper, which specialises in moulded fibre packaging and pulp products.
There’s also printing company Nets Group of Companies who offers environmentally-friendly printing process, with vegetable-based inks used on locally-sourced recycled paper or paper from sustainably managed forests, while JASA Eco create biodegradable plastic products.
On a technological level, additive products like EcoPure offer plastic manufacturers a greener option- the formulation attracts friendly bacteria to aid in the decomposition process, leaving behind nothing but organic waste.
Energy-saving options ranged from water-saving faucets, showers and washing machines to energy-saving bulbs and LED lighting. There were also companies like Efergy, who produce energy-monitoring tools help identify areas of high energy consumption, and energy-saving sensors to automatically hibernate equipment and low-traffic spaces, such as lights and air conditioning.
Practical appliances such as these, as well as innovations like solar chargers from Corriga Technology, developed for smartphones and other mobile devices, play a significant role in ensuring that energy and resources are used wisely.
GREEN BRICKS FOR BUILDINGS
Green innovations can help strengthen the industry’s progress towards sustainability. For energy efficiency, there are LED lighting systems, efficient heating and cooling building systems.
To monitor indoor environmental quality, Air & Odor Management Pte. Ltd. featured its Gelair aroma that also contains anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties that can reduce sick building syndrome. Adding colour to the indoor environmental quality pack is Sequoia and Dulux paints which featured eco-friendly interior and exterior paints.
For water efficiency in buildings, innovations like the smart water meter designed by Narutec of Korea helps improve household water management efficiency, while rainwater harvesting technologies enable house-owners to use rainwater for irrigation, general home cleaning, laundry and toilet flushing.
The array of building materials made from recycled materials were dazzling – there were bricks made of Polyethylene Trephthalate (PET) plastic bottles, a combination of newspapers, polystyrene and coal, recycled palm oil, industrial waste, even rice husks.
Gone were the days when the solar-powered buggy was the only green option in transportation services! Italian Priama has been producing solar boats with no-fuel, fumes or gases and no-noise for various waterways sectors such as tourist cruises, leisure boating, water leisure parks, river taxis and river shuttles.
E-bikes such as Eclimo Sdn Bhd also offers futuristic-looking scooters which are powered by lithium-ion batteries and came with power cords that can be plugged into any household outlet.
Equally hot is the recently launched Toyota Prius, which optimises two sources of power – electric motor and engine – for a more productive drive. Proton’s Exora Range Extender Electric Vehicle which had won a high-profile car challenge in London last year, beating bigger names in the car industry such as Chevrolet Volt, was also on display at IGEM2011.
Levidac from Italy even showcased a 55-seater electric bus that is operated by a 1200 km/day battery capability, an innovation that offers low carbon dioxide (C02) emissions of less than 68 g/km.
WASTE AND WATER MANAGEMENT
Waste is something no one wants to think about but they are a crucial aspect of our daily lives. Thanks to sewage managers like Indah Water, we need not worry about where our sewage goes. With their Zero Waste System, waste water or sewage is collected, treated and reused for industrial purposes.
In Norway, Cambi AS has patented a Thermal Hydrolysis Process (THP) that treats municipal and industrial biosolids and bio waste using anaerobic digestion.
In operation for more than 15 years in more than 20 plants worldwide, this system produces phosphorous, a limited and important renewable resource that can be used. The organic wastes are then used for efficient biogas production to be used in various industries.
SP Multitech Renewable Energy Sdn Bhd, Malaysia also utilises biogas by processing food and agro-processing wastes, manure, palm oil wastes, and municipal solid waste. The organic parts are turned into biogas or fertilisers, while the inorganic portion is recycled, and non-recyclable items like stones are reused in construction and road works.
At Korea’s Sudokwon Landfill Site (SLC) the concept of landfill eco parks has reached greater heights with the Dreampark project set to be completed in 2014. SLC is already utilising landfill gas as resources since 2006, but plans to create eco-energy parks using the new technologies in the market.
The sanitary landfill uses a lechate treatment process which consists of anaerobic digestion, de-nitrication, chemical coagulation and discharge, as well as a process of deodorization. Designed to strengthen eco-promotion functions for the urban space, this process and plant will provide citizens with a park which includes a golf course, horse riding area and sports park, amongst others.
Keen to meet green-minded people? Don’t miss the International Greentech & ecoProducts Exhibition & Conference 2012, which will be held from 10-13 October 2012 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, for more green-inspired innovations and solutions! For more details, visit www.igem.com.my