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January 31, 2012

Iwatani Develops Eco-Friendly Resin
Using 30% Plant-Based Raw Materials
— Announces the Release of Biomass PET —

Iwatani Corporation (Head office: Tokyo and Osaka; President: Akiji Makino; Paid-in capital: 20 billion yen) will begin the full-scale launch of Biomass PET, a PET resin using plant-based raw materials that has been under development since 2010.

 

Biomass PET replaces petroleum-derived monoethylene glycol (MEG), a raw material for PET resin, with a plant-derived MEG (Bio-MEG) which uses bagasse (blackstrap molasses) as its raw material. This enables the decreased use of fossil-based resources and reduced CO2 emissions during incineration. In its rollout of Biomass PET, Iwatani will procure Bio-MEG from India-based India Glycols Limited, and consign Thailand-based Indorama Ventures, the world’s largest producer of PET resin, to consistently manufacturer the PET resin and process some items into final products.

 

Iwatani will first commence mass production for packing material applications in the film sector, which it has been jointly developing with Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. Biomass PET sales will target a wide range of applications including film, bottles, sheets and fibers, and Iwatani expects to generate sales of four billion yen in FY2015.

 

Based on requests from its customers, Iwatani can manage to fix the product’s plant-derived content at 30%, and costs can also be curbed by blending the new product with conventional petroleum-derived PET.

In addition, the new product retains the same physical properties as petroleum-derived PET (in terms of tensile strength, impact resistance, heat resistance, transparency, and so on), and existing equipment can be used for printing and molding processes. Looking ahead, Iwatani is also considering a lineup that offers different grades of resistance to heat, cold and impacts.