Teijin Limited, Onward Holdings and Fuji Xerox are launching a closed-loop uniform recycling system in China.
The system is based on Teijin’s Eco Circle process that the company says incorporates the world’s first technology for the chemical recycling of polyester.
The closed-loop system works like this:
Nantong Teijin, the Teijin group’s polyester textile manufacturing and processing company, weaves and dyes recyclable polyester textiles, which are then used for the uniforms designed and produced by Onward Trading, a Shanghai-based Onward group company that designs, manufactures and sells uniforms.
From January 2014, the uniforms will be worn by 500 customer engineers at Beijing-based sales company Fuji Xerox and 200 production line workers at Fuji Xerox Eco-Manufacturing, which recycles used copiers, printers and cartridges.
The uniforms will be collected after their useful lives and sent to the recycling plant of Zhejiang Jiaren New Materials, a joint venture between Teijin and Jinggong Holding Group in Shaoxing that chemically recycles polyester products as well as produces and sells recycled polyester fibers.
After chemical decomposition, the uniforms will be converted into polyester raw material. The raw material then will be turned into high-quality polyester, which Onward Trading will use to produce new uniforms for Fuji Xerox in China.
In April last year, Cintas corporation announced that it helped eliminate more than 15 million plastic bottles from the waste stream by reusing plastic waste in its eco-apparel product line.
In 2011, Cintas’ eco-apparel, made from recycled polyester fiber, allowed it to repurpose 16.9-ounce plastic bottles into sustainable tops, bottoms and scrubs, and washable tuxedos. These products limit the amount of water and energy consumed while preserving natural resources.