Kuraray Trading Co., Ltd. (headquarters: Osaka City, President: Tetsuzo Kimura) received Wide-Area Recycling Certification from the Ministry of the Environment, for its efforts involving a chemical recycling system. In the wake of this recognition, Kuraray Trading will commence nationwide full-scale operations of this system in collaboration with Nippon Steel Corporation and Yamato Transport Co., Ltd. in April 2007. This certification is the first in this industry for a treatment for general textile products. Kuraray Trading will commence operations with uniform recycling, gradually expanding the system's use for a variety of textiles.

The chemical recycling system was developed to make effective use of textiles manufactured and sold by Kuraray Trading. The company will collect discarded products both from private and public sectors and crush them in machines at Kuraray Trading's recycle center. The crushed textiles then go through Nippon Steel's Coke Oven Chemical Material Process to yield hydrocarbon oils (chemical materials for plastics), coke and gas. The pick up and transport of the discarded items will be handled by Yamato Transport. Kuraray Trading's recycle center was established in March 2006 with the aim of realizing the recycling system.

The recycling system is characterized by wide-ranging criteria: it can process diverse textile products along with such associated notions as buttons and slide fasteners are composed of synthetic fibers or textiles or synthetic resin. In addition, the system is carried out at advanced chemical recycling plants that boast recycling certification from the Ministry of the Environment. Furthermore, the recycling is handled through a one-stop control point accessible via Kuraray Trading's Web system, making it easier to trace all activities from waste collection to the completion of recycling. Based on this system, Kuraray Trading was granted the Wide-Area Recycling Certification by the Ministry of the Environment.

In Brief, the system has three steps: (1) collect textile products that bear a specific mark through the Web system, (2) preprocess by crushing the collected waste at Kuraray Trading's recycling center and (3) transfer the crushed waste to Nippon Steel for the production of hydrocarbon oils, coke and coke-oven gas. The Kuraray Group is engaged in environmental preservation and improvement activities as a part of its CSR activities. As part of these initiatives, Kuraray Trading established the Kuraray Trading Environment Policy in June 2005, and acquired ISO14001 certification in December in the same year.

The Kuraray Trading Environment Policy advocates its basic philosophy of "contributing to social and economical development as well as the improvement of global environmental quality through its business activities" along with its five basic policies that include "addressing the reduction and efficient use of waste, the conservation of resources, and the effective use of recycling systems in the pursuit of a recycling-oriented society." Kuraray Trading will strive to expand this recycling system throughout Japan and work to further contribute to the realization of these environmental and societal goals.

Overview of Recycling System

1. Method

Chemical recycling (Coke Oven Chemical Material Process)

2. Characteristics

  • (1) Covering diverse textiles, there is almost no restriction on such items as buttons and slide fasteners
  • (2) Has been granted Wide-Area Recycling Certification by the Ministry of the Environment
  • (3) An advanced chemical recycling plant is utilized for the process
  • (4) Thanks to one-stop control through the Web system, customer convenience from waste collection through to the completion of recycling is enhanced

3. Cost

Approximately ¥100/item

4. Target

First Year Approximately one million items (500 tons)
Third Year Approximately three million items (1,500 tons)

Overview of the Wide-Area Recycling Certification

1. Acquisition date
March 7, 2007
2. Certification number
3. Items covered by the certification
Waste products, limited to containing synthetic fibers and textiles or resins
4. Place to collect items
Public and private-sector offices

Recycling Facilities

1. Primary recycling

Name of the facility Kuraray Trading Recycle Center (established in March 2006)
Location Koto-ku, Tokyo
Capacity Approximately four tons / day

2. Secondary recycling

Name of the facility Nippon Steel Corporation

Kuraray Trading Co., Ltd.

1. Headquarters 1-12-39, Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka City
2. President Tetsuzo Kimura
3. Capital ¥2,200 million
4. Number of employees 336 (as of March 31, 2007)
5. Principal businesses Sale of fiber and textile materials, fiber and textile products, chemicals and chemical products