News Releases

Implementation of waste-derived product businesses towards building a circular system for plastics

Feb. 26, 2021

Sumitomo Chemical has decided to establish a Business Development Office for a Circular System for Plastics as of April 2021 to accelerate the development of businesses based on its efforts towards building a circular system for plastics.

Plastics are a useful material that supports our lives, used in automobiles, aircraft, electronic devices, various forms of packaging and other diverse applications. Plastics help ensure people’s health and safety as they are also used in personal protective equipment and anti-droplet panels amid the coronavirus pandemic. On the other hand, plastics are also part of global environmental problems, such as marine plastic waste, when they are not adequately recycled or properly treated after use. There are now demands for a society that, while using plastics, also recycles them as a resource.

Sumitomo Chemical has identified contribution to developing a circular system for plastics as one of the material issues to be addressed as management priorities. Under this policy, the company has been developing and supplying products that contribute to the reduction and reuse of plastics, such as materials for thin-wall plastic containers and for films used in refill pouches, by capitalizing on its technology and expertise accumulated over the years in the petrochemicals and plastics business. In recent years, the company has been working on the development of material recycling technology and chemical recycling technology. For material recycling, the Petrochemicals & Plastics Sector is focusing on expanding the recycled compound business for automotive parts, in which used plastics are recovered, recycled, and added to compounds for use in car components. For chemical recycling, the company aims at implementing it during the 2020s in collaboration with partners in academia and the business sector by working on the research of manufacturing polyolefin and synthesizing ethanol with the use of waste as raw materials, and making waste plastics into raw materials by way of chemical decomposition. To ensure that chemical recycling technologies gain ground in society, it is imperative that we address various issues, including acceleration of technological development, procurement of waste plastics to be used as raw materials, and market development for plastic products obtained by recycling. In view of these circumstances, Sumitomo Chemical has decided to establish this Business Development Office to implement chemical recycling technologies through alliances with customers, competitors, and local governments for the resolution of these issues, and to promote societal implementation of a circular system for plastics.

Sumitomo Chemical is committed to contributing to society through its business activities, as set out in its Business Philosophy. The Sumitomo Chemical Group will continue to work as one to create both economic value and social value in an integrated manner, and achieve sustained growth for the Group, and contribute to building a sustainable society.


Examples of chemical recycling technologies under development at Sumitomo Chemical


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