Tai On Environmentalist Recycling & Regeneration Factory
Creates Values from Recycling
Used tyres, once the steel thread has been extracted can be sold for MOP20-30 thousand per tonne, commanding an even higher price and a stronger market demand than rubber on the international market. Plastic bags, thin films and other plastic products can be recycled to produce plastic pellets which are raw materials for Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and industrial and agricultural products. Old TV sets and computer screens can be removed and reused as parts for environmentalfriendly TV sets. Ao Weng Heong, Managing Director of Tai On Environmentalist Recycling & Regeneration Factory, will take what other people discard because what is rubbish to other people is treasure to him.
The company set up its plastic recycling factory in the Mainland in 1992. Ao Weng Heong now has a special plastic pellets workshop of 20,000 square feet in the Zhuhai-Macao Cross-Border Industrial Zone, and will add a production line for metals such as copper and iron. The environmental protection industry is new to Macao and its development has been far from smooth and easy. “This industry does not have a very high profit margin. To succeed one has to take a long-term approach, and be willing to suffer and to deal with dirty stuff. We are fortunate that our application to enter the cross-border industrial zone, with support from Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM), was approved very quickly in 2007. We could not survive without such a place with a long-term lease and big enough space.”
Being in the Cross-border Industrial Zone is an Advantage
Besides technology and a stable supply, another challenge for the environmental protection industry is to find a suitable place with an affordable rent. Ao Weng Heong feels that he is lucky; the decision to enter the cross-border zone is the company’s biggest advantage. “Back then the rent was not considered cheap. We lost money every year in the beginning because our business was not stable. Later rents in the cross-border zone did not increase, whereas rent for buildings outside the zone increased dramatically. The cost of renting the workshop is less than the market price rents for a place of the same size.”
In recent years, Macao’s tourism and service industry has grown rapidly and has increased consumption so that one need not worry about the supply of waste materials. Ao Weng Heong points out, with Macao’s daily recycling volume of waste paper; the company has no problem in finding raw material for its recycled paper production line. The product can be sold to markets as far away as Japan and Singapore. The company’s recycled plastic pellets are also very popular in the Mainland market. Supply initially could not meet demand since the price is 40-60% lower than new raw materials. Even though the profit margin is thin, the company can achieve a quick capital turnaround since it can quickly sell what it buys.
In the past Macao’s recycling industry was limited to upper stream work such as collection, packing and transportation to the Mainland and the profit margin was very low. Ao Weng Heong says, in recent years the duty collected by the Mainland on recycling waste has almost doubled. The inspection of waste imports is also very strict because of the implementation of environmental protection laws and regulations. Without more valueadded processes such as processing waste materials for export of finished recycled products, this industry could not survive.
Improving the Working Environment
With its social and economic development, Macao has witnessed a great increase in solid waste in recent years. Therefore the demand for waste recycling is also increasing rapidly. In the workshop one can find a sink-sized bag full of broken plastic cups; many brand-new plastic shelves and cases which could be sold at several hundred patacas in shops become “waste material” here. Ao Weng Heong says that it is a great pity to throw away these things. It is very important for the development of a modern city to conduct point to point waste collection and centralised treatment in order to cut down pollution. Waste can be collected not only from businesses, but also from households. He sends staff to pick up plastic cups, aluminium cans and used electric appliances when clients call the factory. Recently the purchase price for waste paper has been falling, but he still pays the old price to waste-collecting old ladies when they bring their waste paper to sell. Ao Weng Heong smiles and says, these waste-collecting old ladies are the company’s “long term suppliers” and so they should take care of each other.
In order to improve the working environment in the factory, he spent MOP2 million on the activated-carbonfilter system to get rid of waste gas and smells generated from the production of plastic pellets. “Tai On” won the “Macao Business Prize” for Excellence in Environmental Protection in 2014. This was in recognition of the entrepreneurial spirit and responsible corporate culture of the company. Ao Weng Heong admits that the most difficult times are already behind him. He is fully confident of the future even though the initial investment of MOP10 million has yet to be fully recovered.Ml
Ao Weng Heong, Managing Director of Tai On Environmentalist Recycling & Regeneration Factory
Ao Weng Heong spent MOP 2 million on the activated-carbon-filter system to get rid of waste gas and smells generated from the production of plastic pellets.
Plastic bags was processed into strips by machine first, then cut into small pieces for packing.
Plastic products become plastic pellets after recycled
Second Generation of Ouriversaria Tai Pong
Builds a Local Jewellery Brand
● 文：Island 圖：Bo
Jewellery stores are usually called gold shops in Hong Kong and Macao because they mostly sold gold ornaments in the past. Ouriversarias Tai Pong, is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015 and began working on its own brand two years ago. “In order to have one’s own brand, first one must have his own base. Therefore, we established Jun Feng Jewellery Processing Factory,” says Sandy Long Sin Sai, second generation person in charge of Tai Pong.
One Stop Service for Custom Made Jewellery
Sandy says, Jun Feng Jewellery Processing Factory was established in 2014 and is located in an Industrial Building in Areia Preta with an area of over 1,000 square feet, providing a one stop service for custom made jewellery. It began operating in October 2014, mostly producing 18k gold jewellery mountings and jewellery processing. She says, “Our one stop service starts from jewellery design, mountings production, setting precious stones, packing and sales.”
She indicates that 60% of the counter space and windows are used for diamond encrusted jewellery, while the rest of the counter is for gold and jade jewellery and wholesale 18K gold mountings.
“My father worked in this industry for more than three decades; he opened Tai Pong in 1995. Back then the store mostly dealt with gold jewellery and rarely with diamonds and other products.” But gradually people’s tastes changed and they began to like other jewellery products. Therefore, gold shops gradually switched their focus to diamond encrusted jewellery. “For a long time local residents have been the shop’s major customers. The shop, because of its location in Avenida de Horta e Costa, missed the gradually emerging market of Mainland tourists. More and more jewellery shops have come to Macao in the last two or three years. We are thinking about how to make a breakthrough in this situation.”
“In order to highlight Tai Pong, we not only pay attention to delicate and the purity of the mountings, but also the design, packaging and advertising of our service and jewellery. What is more, we provide online shopping and delivery services. Now can we now deliver to customers in Macao and Hong Kong.”
Exploring Online Sales Channels
Sandy indicates that Tai Pong will further promote its products in the Mainland and has already started cooperating with a famous Mainland wedding photography studio by introducing each other’s products and services on their respective websites.
Sandy has no intention of opening a branch shop. She says, “We noticed the popular trend of online shopping. Online customers don’t care whether there is a physical shop or not. I hope to use the ‘online to offline’ marketing model to attract customers, especially young people, via social networking websites or applications such as Facebook and Wechat.”
She says that there are more than 30 employees in the shop and the workshop, among which there are seven artisans. Very few young people have joined this industry in the past decade. Therefore, there are fewer and fewer experienced local jewellery artisans. The average age of local artisans in the workshop is more than 50. As a result, the company had to hire them from the Mainland.
Sandy began to help her father in the business 20 years ago and obtained her certification as a gemologist from the Diamond Guild UK (DGA) in HK. After working in her father’s shop for more than five years, she decided to leave for a while and did other things. “I decided to come back since my father is older,” she says. When asked how long it will take to establish their own brand, Sandy smiles and replies, “We are still at the beginning and hope that the general structure can be set up and we start doing well next year. Gradually we will build a Macao jewellery brand.”Ml
Sandy Long Sin Sai, second generation person in charge of Tai Pong
Jun Feng Jewellery Processing Factory was established in 2014, providing a one stop service for custom made jewellery.
Ouriversarias Tai Pong’s one stop service starts from jewellery design, mountings production, setting precious stones, packing and sales.