Teijin Group, a Japanese chemical firm, is shifting away from its core plastics businesses, including PET film and fibers and polycarbonate resins, toward items made with “green chemistry,” according to Plastics News.
In addition to green items, Teijin, which is based in Tokyo, wants to shift its business to high-performance materials, pharmaceuticals, home health care.
Its core plastics products now make up half of all sales, but those are declining with the state of the global economy. Rather, the company hopes that by 2020 its core plastics comprise 25 percent of sales, with aramid fibers, carbon fibers and other advanced materials jumping from the current 10 percent to 30 percent of sales, according to the article.
In place of polyesters, Teijin is exploring higher-performance and environmentally-friendly materials, with a goal to increase market penetration in automotive interiors.
The company also is ramping up efforts on biomaterials and recycling systems.
It also is considering creating specialty retail stores to sell private-label apparel.
Already, Sears has begun selling men’s suits made of fabric blend of wool and polyester spun from recycled plastic soda bottles, with the fabric provided by Teijin.
The garment is machine-washable and can be put in the dryer, eliminating costly dry cleaning bills.
In the automotive sector, Teijin’s chemically recycled polyester, called ECO CIRCLE FIBERS, is being used in the cords of Toyo Tire & Rubber’s PROXES Ne tires, which Toyo Tire Europe GmbH introduced to the European market in April 2009. Toyo Tire & Rubber launched PROXES Ne in Japan last December, as special tires designed for eco-friendly passenger cars.