9 Januar 2020

Mitsubishi Corporation Joins PET Chemical Recycling Business

Highly recyclable due to well-established collection and recycling facilities, PET has a wide range of applications

Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) has reached an agreement with Taiwan’s Shinkong Synthetic Fibers Corporation (Shinkong), a Taiwan-based major producer of polyester fiber and PET*1, to accept a third-party allotment of shares in the Shinkong subsidiary Thai Shinkong Industry Corporation Ltd. (TSIC), a Thailand-based producer of PET used to make plastic beverage bottles. This subscription will increase MC’s share in TSIC from 3.85% to 34%.   

PET is a mono-material boasting excellent transparency, glossiness and barrier properties. Highly recyclable due to well-established collection and recycling facilities, PET has a wide range of applications, including both beverage and food containers and apparel-use textiles. With pressure to transition to circular economies on the rise, there has been growing demand around the world for mono-material packaging. TSIC is responding by expanding its PET production capacity. The company also plans to begin producing recycled PET with new chemical recycling technologies*2, the introduction of which is expected to increase recycling rates.

Shinkong is a core Shinkong Group company and one of Taiwan’s leading private enterprises. Since playing a part in Shinkong’s establishment in 1967, MC has built up a strong, strategic partnership with the Taiwanese company through the trade of both raw materials and products in its PET value chain, a central part of MC’s petrochemicals operations. In addition to increasing its stake in TSIC, MC will be assigning one of its officers to the subsidiary to assist with its management. By leveraging Shinkong’s technical expertise, MC promotes recycled PET to the glowing market with a focus on Japanese market and hopes to accelerate initiatives aimed at reducing marine plastics*3, which contribute to “Procuring and Supplying in a Sustainable Manner”, one of MC’s Key Sustainability Issues. This commitment is in line with three-value mission (Simultaneous generation of economic, societal and environmental value).

Despite the world growing more and more environmentally conscious toward plastics, plastics will remain a highly functional base material, one that is indispensable to the development of economies. Through its global plastics operations including recycle and development of renewable materials, MC shall continue to address societal challenges to realize circular economies.

*1. Polyethylene Terephthalate
*2. Recycling method to chemically convert plastic waste into feedstock that can be used to produce virgin-like polymers
*3. General term used to describe plastic products and waste that is allowed to flow into the world’s oceans instead of being properly disposed of or recycled

Source: Mitsubishi Corp., press release, 2020-01-08.


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