MoU Signing with BMW

Premium automaker partners Malaysian-based scheduled waste management solutions provider, Pentas Flora to advance circularity efforts in tackling automotive waste beginning from its network of dealerships.

Kuala Lumpur, 11th January 2023 – BMW Group Malaysia recently commemorated their partnership with Pentas Flora in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing, held in conjunction with a roundtable discussion on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) hosted by the premium automaker.

Hans de Visser, Managing Director of BMW Group Malaysia said, “For us at BMW Group Malaysia, our vision for sustainability is clear. In all our efforts to mitigate climate change, we ensure our strategy is both Circular and Responsible – as we pursue a verifiable and consistent path towards climate neutrality by 2050. In doing so, we drive forward the Group’s global ambition here with a local context, while inspiring more Malaysian industry leaders to place ESG at the forefront of their decision-making in 2023.”

Matthias Schlesiger, CEO of BMW Group Financial Services Malaysia added, “As we progress towards a more sustainable approach in our business practices, we looked within our own ecosystem to identify likeminded innovators and visionaries who share the same ambition as we do – and Pentas Flora, a long-time customer of BMW Group Financial Services Malaysia, became an ideal sustainability partner. In 2021, we kickstarted an internal initiative with our local dealer network to give waste oils and lubricants collected from their service centres a second life as re-refined eco-base oils.”

Oon Kin Seng, Group Executive Director of Pentas Flora said, “This partnership is a meaningful one for us at Pentas Flora as we recognise the shared commitment between our organisations in championing sustainability and responsibility in our business processes, preserving the environment and ensuring that elements that can be harmful to the earth can be disposed in a responsible manner. Ultimately, our work in managing scheduled waste for clients across industries by providing end-to-end solutions for hazardous waste management, is part of a larger vision to build a sustainable environment and a better future for all Malaysians and we are pleased to be able to drive its importance with a partner like BMW Group Malaysia.”

Over 30,000 litres of waste oils and lubricants have been collected from four participating BMW dealerships in the Klang Valley so far and sent for processing at Pentas Flora’s re-refinery plant in Banting to eventually be turned into re-refined eco base oil (EBO) that will be channelled back into the automotive sector once again. Re-refined oil is a complex but highly reliable product that goes through vacuum distillation, pre-treatment processes such as sieving, dewatering, vacuum dehydration, short path distillation, and a variety of treatment processes to obtain a quality end-product comparable to virgin base oil.

As part of BMW Group Malaysia’s RE:GENERATE programme to adopt circularity within the organisation, this collaboration with Pentas Flora is a crucial first step to ensuring not only proper automotive waste management, but also a firm departure from the traditional linear approach to valuable resources. The goal is to achieve 100% participation in repurposing used oils and lubricants from all BMW dealers nationwide, while also encouraging more industry players to pay closer attention to waste management, ensuring that waste is no longer carelessly deposited into landfills, incinerated, or illegally dumped.

The roundtable discussion on ESG by BMW Group Malaysia and Pentas Flora featured sustainability leaders from the public sector, alongside industry experts and innovators. They shared insights on low-carbon practices and the voluntary carbon market, risks for ESG non-compliance, good governance for sustainable growth, as well as a necessary mindset shift amongst corporate Malaysia towards self-regulation in their sustainability efforts.

Interviewed by The Edge Malaysia [Circular Economy: Offering an alternative to fossil fuels]

We are thrilled and honoured to have been interviewed by The Edge Malaysia, one of Malaysia’s largest news agency, about the launch of Eco Base Oil to achieve sustainability and a circular economy in Malaysia. The interview was held at our Pentas Flora plant, Banting, and Mr Ee Wei Leong, Head of Operations, provided an introduction to the HSE protocol, followed by a tour of our facility.

Mr Oon Kin Seng, our Group Executive Director, conducted an excellent interview! Instead of a conventional interview, Ms Natalie from The Edge and Mr Oon bonded and turned the session into a discussion. Mr Oon discussed the importance of using eco base oil rather than crude oil, the vision of achieving ESG goals, and more. Overall, we thank The Edge for the interview. We are always open to opportunities to educate the world on the importance of proper Scheduled Waste Management as the key to sustainability.

For press release, please read:

The Rise of Automotive Waste

Did you know that there are over 11 million inactive or dormant vehicles out of over 33 million registered vehicles in Malaysia?1  

That figure is even more than the country’s population which stands at 32.6 million, according to a June 2022 article published in the New Straits Times.2 

Since 2019, Road Transport Department Malaysia (JPJ) records show that the number of newly registered vehicles has increased by one million every year. 3

The issue of abandoned vehicles is gaining public attention because it is seen to have the potential to cause environmental pollution if not managed properly. To make matters worse, there is no end-of-life vehicle policy in our country. Therefore, it is not uncommon to own a 20-year-old car in Malaysia. 

So what happens to a car that has passed its road worthiness? How do owners dispose of a pile of aged metal safely and properly?

Malaysians face the issue of abandoned old cars as people just do not know what to do with their old, beaten-up vehicles and how to dispose of them properly. Oftentimes, these vehicles end up being abandoned after being unused for ages in many neighbourhoods. 

In 2019, based on information from JPJ, there were at least 60,000 abandoned vehicles nationwide. Factors that cause this problem are obsolete vehicles, difficulty in obtaining spare parts for repair and vehicle owners who are not knowledgeable about the process of disposing of these vehicles. 4 It is high time for us to find proper disposal methods for these vehicles so that they do not become junk and eyesores. 

Relative to this issue, many parts and components of these automobiles can be salvaged and even recycled for further use – this will address the issue of rising automotive waste that is produced yearly. There are a high number of scrap metal collectors who will remunerate people for metal scraps, once part of the construction of the car. Oftentimes, various components such as batteries, seats and other usable parts will be salvaged for refurbishment. 

The abandoned vehicles often contain wastes such as lead-acid batteries, lithium batteries, electronic components, asbestos brake pads, used engine oil, engine coolant and so on that need to be properly managed to ensure environmental sustainability. All these wastes need to be managed and disposed of properly at facilities licensed by the Department of Environment (DOE). 

In an initiative to help our country overcome this issue, the DOE has recently launched the Authorised Automotive Treatment Facility (AATF) Pilot Project. This project provides a sustainable approach in the disposal of vehicles. 

AATF is a facility that will carry out the disposal of components, especially components that contain scheduled waste from vehicles that have been deregistered by the Ministry of Transport Malaysia. The components will be segregated for reuse, recycling or recovery and final disposal. This facility is licensed by the Department of Environment (DOE) under Section 18, Environmental Quality Act 1974. 5

These efforts are in line with the National Automotive Policy 2020 that with the increase of more vehicle manufacturing and assembly plants in the country in the future, there is application of aspects of green technology to drive low carbon development in the country. 

Pentas Flora Eco Base Oil Launch

The circular economy’s newest innovation has been unveiled by Pentas Flora Group, a company that has been managing scheduled waste management for the past ten years. The recently announced Re-refined Eco-Base Oil (EBO) by Pentas Flora created an eye-opening moment for everyone at this distinguished event, which was held at the EQ Hotel in Kuala Lumpur with a variety of attendees from the automotive, oil & gas, and banking industries.

Re-refined oil is used motor oil that has undergone a protracted re-refining process to eliminate impurities and provide a base oil that is as good as new. After being sold to blenders, this base oil is used to create lubricants like motor oil, transmission fluid, and grease by adding additive packages.

Re-refined oil undergoes rigorous processing, filtering, distillation, and dehydration to remove both soluble and insoluble contaminants, in contrast to recycled oil, which only has its soluble impurities like dirt and heavy metals removed. In summary, re-refined oil is cost-effective compared to conventional motor oil and isn’t harmful to the environment.

Mr. Oon Kin Seng, the executive director of Pentas Flora Group, proudly acknowledged in his opening remarks that Pentas Flora has successfully developed this Eco-Base Oil (EBO) SN150 for the benefit of consumers, the environment, and the industry as a whole after a decade of research and development.

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle are the three R’s that Pentas Flora Sabah Director Datuk Mohammad Pintaz Badar emphasised further. “Purity is Good” is a catchphrase that we are very proud of, not merely a trendy catchphrase. We think waste needs to be managed carefully, and making something of this calibre out of the waste that would have otherwise been discarded deserves vigorous applause,” he said.

Dr. Ernest H. Henderson, Technical Director (Base Oil and Lube Products) of Pentas Flora Group, provided a more detailed explanation of the various advantages of re-refined base oil and that of Pentas Flora during his keynote address. “This Pentas Flora Eco-Base Oil checks all the criteria for a sustainable contribution to the economy. Re-refined base stock yield lowers the carbon footprint and unintended CO2 emission output. It benefits sustainability and the environment”, explained Henderson.

He went on to say that restrictions on industrial and vehicular activity during the Covid-19 period clearly reduced pollutants and enhanced air quality. This demonstrates unequivocally the harmful substances that were regularly released into the environment during the Covid period as a result of these actions. From its re-refining operation, Pentas Flora creates a high-quality base stock that can be used to create medium and top-tier engine oils, as well as driveline and industrial oils.

Ybhg Datin Zameema Banu, Head, Group Sustainability of AmBank Group, supported the event and gave a speech recognising the sustainable impact of the EBO. She stated in her remarks that AmBank, a steadfast backer of Pentas Flora, is indeed happy and excited that this product is made with re-refined lubricants.

“It is very satisfying to see successes like this, as AmBank was the first bank to support Pentas Flora and has remained the company’s primary banker to this day, continuing to support their growth, aspirations, and passion in producing solutions from waste that can be purified and reused,” she continued.

The function was further honoured with the presents of Mr. Lim Aik Fu – Group Managing Director of Pentas Flora Group, Mr. Sashi Ambi – Head of Communications & Sustainability (BMW Group Malaysia), Yvonne Chan – Executive Vice President of Wholesale Banking Coverage of AmBank, Ms. Tan Bee Yan –Senior Vice President of Wholesale Banking Coverage of AmBank, as well as Mr. Lim Aik Hoe and Mr. Lim Aik Kiat, Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director of EXSIM Group – the holding company of Pentas Flora Group.

For further information or to reach Pentas Flora Group, please visit

How Heat Waves Affect Waste Management 

There are significant impacts of climate change already occurring in Malaysia. In recent years especially, we have experienced increased frequency of droughts and floods as well as a rise in sea levels in coastal areas. 

These extreme weather changes are expected to have numerous environmental and socioeconomic effects which not only worsen existing environmental issues but also reduces quality of life. 

Existing environmental pressures on natural resources are expected to intensify as we progress into the future. Agriculture will be further threatened by droughts and floods while rice yields are expected to decline by 60%. Other potentially impacted products include rubber, palm oil, and cocoa. Annual drought probability which currently lies at 4%, may increase to 9%.1

Major contributors of climate change

One of the major contributors of climate change is the increasing need for electricity. Demand for electricity grew 64% in the decade prior to 2017 while fossil fuels remain the primary fuel for electricity generation. In 2017, over 44% of electricity was produced from burning coal and 38% from natural gas. Besides that, deforestation, particularly for palm oil and natural rubber production, is also a major contributor to the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. 2 

Temperatures are rising rapidly

Greenhouse gases, or GHGs, are compound gases that trap heat or longwave radiation in the atmosphere. Their presence in the atmosphere makes the Earth’s surface warmer. This gives rise to more storms and extreme weather events which are closely related to temperature, such as heatwaves and extremely hot days. 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. Scientific studies indicate that rising temperatures are likely to increase the annual occurrences and intensity of heatwaves with human-induced climate change. Climate warming also increases evaporation on land, which can worsen drought and create conditions more prone to wildfire and a longer wildfire season.3

Hot weather affects waste management 

In countries like Malaysia with specifically hot weather, there are adverse effects on the biological processes of solid waste and the physical operation of landfills as well as the health and well-being of solid waste facility workers and populations exposed to solid waste. 

The biggest problems are foul odours, pests and overflowing trash that wreak havoc on routine waste collection activities. Heat and humidity allow bacteria to grow faster and smells to travel further. The bad odour attracts pests which become a sanitary nuisance and property hazard for businesses.

Besides that, the hot weather can turn landfills into a real dumpster fire. During the COVID-19 pandemic, large-scale cleanouts of hazardous and flammable materials surged; and with that dumpster fires and explosions. 4 

The high-speed, machine-heavy process of sorting trash from treasured recyclables is a known fire risk. Under high heat conditions, items such as aerosol cans, propane tanks, batteries, e-waste, fertilizers, liquid chemicals and other fluids can spontaneously combust. All it takes is a little heat and friction and in the driest conditions, a single cinder from a cigarette butt can ignite a blaze. 

Between January 2019 to January 2022, the Malaysian Department of Environment (DOE) received over 19,000 complaints on open burning, as reported by The Star. 5 

According to the DOE, the increased incidence of fires is associated with hot and dry weather. Some key initiatives by the DOE include:

  1. Stepping up enforcement on open burning by increasing compounds and investigations on offences under Section 29A of the Environmental Quality Act 1974
  2. Adopting smart enforcement by using technologies such as thermal drone monitoring to detect hotspot areas even at night
  3. Using technology for sampling of toxic gases using multi-gas analysers, mobile automated continuous air quality monitoring stations to detect air quality
  4. Fire Prevention Program – increased ground patrol and drone activities for monitoring and enforcement

What can we do as consumers to reduce our carbon footprint?

There are many ways we can be more conscious of our environmental footprint as consumers. A few simple ways as shared by The Grantham Institute 6 include:

  • Cut back on air travel where possible. Consider video-conferencing options for work and trains for same country travels
  • Walk or cycle. Car sharing options are also a good way to reduce GHG footprint
  • Turn off appliances or lights when not in use. Replace light bulbs with LEDs or low energy lights. Ensure our homes are energy efficient
  • Help to conserve green spaces like local parks especially in urban areas
  • Avoid single-use items and fast fashion
  • Repair and re-use where possible. Give unwanted items to charity or sell them. 

Let us know what are some other ways we can consider to reduce our carbon footprint in the comments. 

Switch to Re-Refined Oil to Reduce Carbon Footprint

What is Re-refined oil?

Re-refined oil is a good-as-new base oil derived from used motor oil in which contaminants have been removed. This base oil is then sold to blenders who add additives to it to produce lubricants in the form of motor oil, transmission fluid and grease. There is an entire industry focused on re-refining fluids, which presents a huge opportunity to realize financial savings as well as offer the benefit of a clear environmental conscience.

Re-refined oil represents the responsible choice for the environment. 

Re-refining used motor oil helps minimize and avoid emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) as compared to GHG levels when extracting or processing crude oil. Studies show that the life cycle carbon footprint associated with re-refined base motor oil is 81% lower than virgin stock-derived base motor oil. The results also revealed that the most significant advantages of re-refining occur during the base oil production and waste management life cycle phases. 1 

Based on the ‘2009 Greenhouse Gas Savings Study Report’ written by Conestoga-Rovers & Associates on behalf of the British Columbia Used Oil Management Association (BCUOMA), 3.65 kg CO2e carbon dioxide is saved per litre of re-refined oil as compared to crude oil; 1.02 kg CO2e  carbon dioxide is saved per litre of fuel oil compared to crude oil; 1.09 kg CO2e carbon dioxide is saved per each filter collected compared with using iron ore; and 2.11 kg CO2e  carbon dioxide is saved per 1 kg of used oil container that is recycled compared with using new plastic.

As an added advantage, re-refined oil is priced competitively to regular motor oil. Buying re-refined oil reduces consumer dependence on imported oil, the depletion of natural resources and helps create jobs locally. 

Despite these benefits, we still face certain challenges popularizing the use of re-refined oil. Currently, only a small volume of the market uses re-refined oil, while the majority of the market uses crude oil. This is due to the misconception that re-refined oil is less superior than crude oil. However, in reality, the American Petroleum Institute (API) had already recognised the quality of re-refined base oil to be on par with virgin base oil when proper technology is used. Many major government and private fleets in the US had used re-refined lubricants in their vehicles for years and had concurrently reported no difference in performance from virgin lubricants. 2

The other challenge comes from the lack of awareness among waste generators who dispose of waste without proper screening. In this case, they tend to pick the highest bidder for used oil or the lowest bidder for the containers and filter waste to help them dispose of their waste. Fraudulent waste collectors and waste recycling companies who do not recover waste through proper technologies and mix harmful chemicals to sell as recycled fuel oil have also been reported to be present collecting scheduled waste in the market. Thus, fuelling a negative impression towards re-refined oil. 

In Malaysia however, we had always practiced strict control and licensing when it comes to schedule waste management. Our government agencies made tremendous efforts to ensure that the best practices are properly enforced to eliminate the occurrence of fraudulent used oil recyclers. Besides strictly requiring waste management companies to be licensed, the Department of Environment (DOE) had also created detailed guidelines on determining and classifying a product generated from recovery, or recycling or reconstituting processes of waste oil.

At Pentas Flora, we collect used engine oil and re-refine it to make eco-friendly base oil which is then used to make high quality products such as gasoline, petrol, diesel and fuel oil. The re-refined oil produced in Pentas Flora, such as Eco light fuel oil, Super light fuel oil, and others provide the best energy consumption at the best rates. Having years of experience in the production of our very own brand of oil, we are professionals in performing petroleum re-refining, ensuring that our clients get the best quality of oil for their use. 

For more information on our re-refined oils, read here

Impact of Urban Floods to Waste Management (Disaster Waste Management)

Malaysia is generally blessed to be spared of many major natural disasters that occur worldwide. However, we do face the occasional flood, landslide and haze. In recent years, we have experienced extreme weather and climatic events, ranging from thunderstorms to monsoonal floods.

On 16th December 2021, a tropical depression brought torrential downpours lasting three days over the peninsula. The floods that ensued resulted in loss of around 50 lives, 5 missing persons and thousands evacuated from their homes across the nation, as reported by Bernama.1 The heart-wrenching aftermath saw families with lost homes, missing belongings, damaged vehicles which were all swept away or submerged in the floods. 

The Selangor government alone had spent RM6 million out of the allocated RM10 million by 31st December last year.2 Disruptions in solid waste collections affected by floods occurred causing delays and difficulties in domestic and bulk waste collection. Inaccessible routes and damage to waste collection trucks were a big factor for the disruptions while some waste contractors were also impacted by floods in terms of reduced manpower, damaged facilities and equipment.

Floodwaters carry risks such as water- borne diseases, thus proper management of floodwater and waste is needed to reduce these risks. Flood water may contain things that may harm human health such as human and livestock waste, household waste, industrial and medical waste, lumber, vehicles and debris, and wild animals such as rodents and snakes.3

In Malaysia, waste management and waste minimization is not the sole responsibility of local authorities but include government agencies like the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, Ministry of Environment, Ministry Of Health, various academic institutions and NGOs who work together to achieve this. In the event of a flood or natural disaster, your local council is the first point of contact for information on:

  • financial assistance
  • appropriate clean up and waste disposal in your area
  • essential and immediate needs

There is however, a need for local councils to strengthen post-flood waste management systems now with the increased frequency of floods occurring. The volume of garbage is huge, must be cleaned immediately and almost nothing can be recycled. Most of these will pile up in landfills.

Along with garbage and belongings, a high number of motor vehicles were damaged and sent to auto service centres and workshops for repair. There was a sudden surge in the number of vehicles needing repair resulting in a high volume of scheduled waste generated from auto centres nationwide. 

In light of these floods, natural disaster insurance coverage is more important than ever as the risk of floods and being caught in one could have serious impacts on financial wellbeing. A small fee relative to vehicle value when renewing our road tax could save many Malaysians from draining their savings to fix vehicles damaged in floods. 

Pentas Flora received many enquiries from various industries once the floods had subsided last year. We are able to support waste management services for the private sector specifically with scheduled waste collection, cleaning, oil trap service maintenance and other scheduled waste requirements. 

We offer customised services to customers throughout Malaysia in compliance with environmental laws and guidelines. More information on our services can be found here.

Sabah Deputy Chief Minister (DCM) pays a visit to our Pentas Flora Plant

Pentas Flora Group, one of Malaysia’s leading Scheduled Waste Management companies held a private plant tour for Yang Berhormat Datuk Dr Joachim Gunsalam, Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian Sabah; Yang Berhormat Datuk Wetrom bin Bahanda, Pembantu Menteri Kepada Ketua Menteri Sabah as well as other delegates from Sabah who were in Peninsula Malaysia for a week long official visit to host a forum on Investment Opportunities in Sabah Industrial Parks under the Ministry of Industrial Development. During the course of the visit, which lasted for a week, the participants went to a number of different companies in order to learn about the production methods used at those businesses and how those companies contribute to the present economic landscape.

The tour to the Pentas Flora plant in Banting that was held on 11/8/2022 was graciously welcomed by Datuk Pintaz Badar, Chairman of Pentas Flora Sabah; Mr. Oon Kin Seng, Group Executive Director of Pentas Flora Group; and several other directors and senior management staff members. Thereafter, Mr. Oon hosted a wonderful lunch for the aforementioned delegation while also providing them with information regarding the company’s services, operations, and products.

“In line with the government’s call for sustainability and environmental awareness, we at Pentas Flora believe in our credo “From Cradle to Cradle”, which means that we believe in the 3Rs – reduce, reuse, and recycle – and trust that our initiatives have been beneficial to many different industries, including the Maritime, Automotive, and Manufacturing Industries, etc.  We will continue to expand, and as a result, an even greater number of Malaysians from all across the country will be able to benefit from our efforts to give hazardous waste a purpose that is both meaningful and useful.

Since the beginning of Pentas Flora’s existence, our goal has been to create a green environment that is both sustainable and aesthetically pleasing by offering a complete solution covering all aspects of hazardous waste management. He elaborated, “We are proud of the fact that over the years we have gathered significant knowledge, specialised skills, advanced technology, and adequate resources to cater to the scheduled waste demands of our customers, and we use all of these to serve our customers.”

The rest of the evening was spent giving the delegates a tour of the facility, during which they were educated on the numerous modern technologies that were utilised, the well-maintained mobile tankers that were on exhibit, as well as the safety and cleanliness of the plant.

Mdm. Cecilia Amid, En. Haizar R.H. Ajaz Nabijan, Mr. Rodolfo Blantocas, En. Mohd Ridzuan Ramli, Christopher Mandut, and a large number of other delegates were present for the evening’s event.

For further information on Pentas Flora and its services, please surf to

The Rising Cost of Waste Disposal

Why is it so expensive to dispose of waste safely?

The waste management sector has not been exempt from the challenges of rising costs that have affected a broad range of industries. It has been a tough time for the waste industry since the pandemic hit in 2020. In addition to that, recent market inflations have led to increases in prices of goods and supplies along with higher energy costs. 

As much as recycling reduces the energy needed to make products from raw materials, there are costs to dispose of waste and the costs of recycling usually lands on the books of waste management companies. This is unlike domestic disposal for 3R activities (reduce, reuse and recycle) activities. Scheduled waste management activities involve higher technology and energy usage to treat, recover, refine and recycle waste into reusable raw material.

Furthermore, waste export costs have been rising due to major waste destinations increasing taxes on waste imports. Developing countries’ cities, coping with booming populations, scarce financial resources and limited capacity to manage environmental issues, are facing a sharp rise in the amount and costs of garbage that they will be required to deal with by 2025.

The World Bank’s Urban Development department estimates that the amount of municipal solid waste (MSW) globally will rise from the current 1.3 billion tonnes per year to 2.2 billion tonnes per year by 2025.1 

The annual, global cost of this necessary solid waste management is projected to rise from the current $205 billion to $375 billion, with the cost increasing most severely for cities in low income countries.

There is a direct correlation between the per capita level of income in cities and the amount of waste per capita that is generated. In general, as a country urbanizes and populations become wealthier, the consumption of inorganic materials increases, as reported by the World Bank. 

In Malaysia between 2014 and 2018, the highest volume of waste disposed of in landfills were contributed by Johor (850 thousand tonnes/year) and Kuala Lumpur (625 thousand tonnes/year). The high population in Johor and Kuala Lumpur was a factor. Both states experienced high economic development and urbanisation levels with top GDPs at 5.7% and 5.9% respectively. The Malaysian government has spent approximately 5.24 billion USD yearly to manage solid waste and the cost of waste collection and disposal alone take up to 60% of the local authority expenditure. 2

Waste management companies have felt the strain because of this.

What can be done to manage rising costs?

  1. Adopt good housekeeping, process modifications, eco-friendly design of products and cleaner technologies. This includes conserving raw materials and energy, eliminating toxic raw materials and reducing the quantity and toxicity of all emissions and wastes before they leave a process.3

    For products, focus our strategy on reducing impacts along the entire life-cycle of the product, from raw material extraction to the ultimate disposal of the product. 

    Cleaner production is achieved by applying know-how, by improving technology, and by changing attitudes. Waste handling charges, raw material usage and insurance premiums can often be cut, along with potential risks.


  1. Integrating environmental management systems (EMS) or ISO 14001 within industries. An EMS consists of a systematic process that allows an organization to “assess, manage, and reduce environmental hazards” 4. Thus, an organisation needs to continuously monitor their environmental impacts by ensuring it is integrated into the actual management system guaranteeing its continuation and commitment to successful outcomes. Periodic EMS audits are one way to ensure it is effective and maintained.

    Several benefits of EMS include:
  • Financial savings through lower costs and improved global competition
  • Improved performance and reputation
  • Reduced business risks
  • Compliance with environmental regulations

    Environmental management systems (EMS) and cleaner production (CP) are located at the top of sustainable development tools. Huge efforts in spreading these concepts worldwide are dedicated especially to developing countries due to the immediate environmental and financial benefits they generate if properly applied.


  1. Scheduled waste management incurs costs that are payable such as Scheduled Waste SW 305 (spent lubricating oil) and SW 306 (spent hydraulic oil) or even SW 409 (disposed containers, bags or equipment contaminated with chemicals, pesticides, mineral oil or scheduled wastes). Others may be chargeable to remove hazardous properties in the waste. 


Government subsidies can ease the costs faced by municipal budgets in low-income and middle-income countries. Basic solid waste management systems should be given allocated funds for more advanced approaches for waste treatment and recycling costs now more than ever. The choice of technology and methods used depend highly on the local capacity for investments and management.

Recycling and Disposal of Lithium Batteries

Large lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are used in the hundreds in electric vehicles (EVs) today. Like our mobile phone batteries, they are bundled together to function as one. 

For technology to be sustainable in the near future, it is no longer viable to discard products that can no longer serve their original purpose. EV batteries are expensive and loaded with limited raw materials like lithium and cobalt that are harmful to dispose of. These parts are also at risk of exploding when piled up in landfills under heat.

These batteries should be first repurposed to be reused for a different function such as charging stations or stationary energy storage to power factories, residential buildings, hospitals and others.


The battery’s remaining capacity is reused for a secondary application. This requires several processes to ensure it is safe to be reused. Car makers today are investing in repurposing opportunities in order to have control over the secondary use applications and to ensure they are reliable and financially viable.

Although this emerging industry of EV battery repurposing may not be as attractive as EV manufacturing and assembly or as popular as EV battery manufacturing, this is an important area to focus on as any part of the EV value chain. 


The functioning modules and cells in refurbished batteries are used for application in another EV battery, where the battery can be easily recovered and has not been damaged or discharged. 

Tesla and Nissan offer refurbished battery packs for warranty replacement of original battery packs in electric vehicles, according to Drive Safe & Fast Malaysia1. Tesla claims 60% of its battery components are recycled, with 10% used to build a new battery case for an EV. 

Toyota has hooked up old batteries to solar panels to power convenience stores in Japan. Meanwhile, Korea’s trade ministry partnered with LG Chem to produce portable battery packs (power banks) using discarded EV batteries. 

These are examples of how used LIBs can be given a second life and recycled. However, the issue still remains that the recycling rate of EV batteries today is low, with many still ending up in landfills leaching toxic chemicals that pollute our soil and rivers. 

In Australia, only 2–3% of LIBs are collected and sent overseas for recycling. In the EU and US, the rates are less than 5%.2

It is time to get serious about recycling lithium-ion batteries. A projected surge in electric-vehicle sales means that researchers must think about conserving natural resources and addressing battery end-of-life issues. Industry analysts predict that by 2020, China alone will have generated some 500,000 metric tons of used Li-ion batteries and that by 2030, the worldwide number will hit 2 million metric tons per year. 

This photo shows a Chevy Volt battery pack and three small batteries propped up on top of it: one of the Volt battery’s 288 pouches along with batteries from a cell phone and an iPad.

Most of the batteries that do get recycled undergo a ‘smelting’ process under high-temperature melting and extraction. Despite the high costs to build and operate, these large commercial plants don’t recover all valuable battery materials. Additionally, sophisticated equipment is required to treat the emissions generated by the smelting process. 

Driven by the enormous quantity of spent Li-ion batteries expected soon from aging electric vehicles and ubiquitous portable electronics, start-up companies are commercializing new battery-recycling technology. More scientists have started to study the problem – some battery, manufacturing, and recycling experts have begun forming large, multifaceted collaborations to tackle the impending problem.

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