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April 21, 2021

Teijin, JGC and Itochu tackle polyester chemical recycling

Polyester fibres and products producer Teijin Limited has signed a joint agreement with JGC Holdings Corporation and Itochu Corporation on the license business of polyester chemical recycling technology from discarded polyester textile products.

Polyester fibres and products producer Teijin Limited has signed a joint agreement with JGC Holdings Corporation and Itochu Corporation on the license business of polyester chemical recycling technology from discarded polyester textile products.

In recent years, environmental damage—such as global warming caused by greenhouse gases and marine pollution caused by waste plastic and abandoned fishing gear—has become more serious, and global countermeasures are urgently needed, the companies say. Japan has implemented various initiatives aimed at helping to realise a more sustainable society, such as targeting the achievement of net zero emissions by 2050. In the fiber and textile industry, there is an urgent need to address sustainability issues such as the mass disposal of clothing as well as environmental challenges such as high levels of CO2 emitted during manufacturing.

Teijin has extensive and global experience in this area as a result of its operation of the world’s first large-scale plant utilising chemical recycling technology to produce polyester from discarded polyester textile products.

JGC has developed world-class engineering technology and has acquired a wide range of expertise in the oil and gas sectors, among others. It is now focusing on the construction of environmentally friendly plants and on other technologies and businesses related to the protection of the environment.

In 2019, Itochu launched its “Renu” project, aiming to address the problem of excessive waste in the textile industry; it is also developing a global market for recycled polyester materials derived from used clothing and spare fabric generated during textile manufacture.

The agreement will bring together Teijin’s proprietary chemical recycling technology deployed in the manufacture of polyester, the expertise of the JGC derived from its global engineering business, and Itochu’s extensive network of textile industry players. The three companies intend to establish a system for collecting discarded polyester fiber products and cost-effective chemical recycling technology for using such products as raw materials.

Going forward, Teijin, the JGC and Itochu aim to expand the range of effective solutions for the mass disposal of used textile products.

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