10-Dec-2009 - Merck KGaA

Merck KGaA and GTZ Form Strategic Alliance to Improve Chemicals Management in Southeast Asia

Partnership for sustainable development spans Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines

Merck KGaA announced that it has formed a strategic alliance with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH (German Technical Cooperation - GTZ) intended to improve laboratory chemicals waste management in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Within the scope of a public private partnership (PPP) with the GTZ, Merck will be introducing over the next three years environmentally friendly, safe waste disposal systems for used packaging and chemicals from laboratory customers. These systems will be based on Merck’s Retrologistik® expertise in waste management.

In Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, differing logistic requirements and technical infrastructure have developed for returning and eco-friendly disposing of laboratory waste. Waste and raw materials are often disposed of through the sewer system and normal household waste. Frequently, people lack the knowledge to handle hazardous substances. This is where the joint PPP project enters into play. It aims both to promote the development policy goals of the GTZ and to facilitate the transfer of Merck know-how and technology. The closed-loop systems established in Europe for used chemicals – in particular the international Merck standard known as Retrologistik – constitute the master plan for introducing a safe disposal alternative into these three Southeast Asian countries. Tools are being developed to suit the regional circumstances and to provide a foundation for determine optimal disposal and recycling methods. The project will be launched in 2010 and will continue over a three-year period. Plans include on-site training on how to safely handle, store and dispose of laboratory chemicals, with the success of these measures being reviewed as well.

“The strategic alliance between GTZ and Merck is an important step in protecting people and the environment in Southeast Asia,” said Bernd Lunkenheimer, responsible at GTZ for the cooperation with Merck. “Due to its broad impact, the transfer of technology and know-how is of particular importance in terms of development policy.” The public private partnership between GTZ and Merck was also initiated by Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

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