Promoting Recycling Initiatives
As a manufacturer of a wide range of materials, the Toray Group is promoting various recycling initiatives that ensure that the earth's resources are efficiently utilized.
Recycling Activity PrinciplesAdopted in March 2004
- We shall design, produce, and sell products that reduce our impact on the environment.
- We shall purchase and use materials and products which will help reduce our impact on the environment.
- We shall disclose information related to recycling programs and recycled goods.
- We shall voluntarily cooperate with customers to recycle or otherwise appropriately dispose of our products.
Fiber and Textile Recycling
Toray offers CYCLEADTM fabric made from recycled nylon 6 fibers, and EcouseTM polyester fabric1 made from recycled PET bottles.
- 1 In fiscal 2015, Toray expanded the EcouseTM brand to encompass non-fiber products, as an integrated brand name for recycled materials and products offered by Toray.
Collection and Circulation Type Recycling with CYCLEADTM
Fabric made from recycled fibers recovered from disposed nylon products
Regeneration Type Recycling with EcouseTM
Fabric made from recycled PET bottles for uniforms and functional sportswear
The fans inside home air conditioners are designated for recycling under Japan's Act on Recycling of Specified Kinds of Home Appliances. While continuing to conduct closed-loop recycling (in which end-of-life products are recycled into the same product) of fans and other products, the Toray Group is also diversifying its procurement sources for fans to address growing market needs.
In addition, the Toray Group actively engages in pre-consumer recycling, by reusing byproducts from internal manufacturing processes such as film scraps and fiber scraps. Furthermore, the Group promotes post-consumer recycling using PET bottle scraps and computer plastic scraps, in order to comply with green procurement regulations in and outside Japan.
Toray is recovering and processing raw materials used to make its LUMIRRORTM optical-use PET film and re-using them to produce environmentally friendly films and fabric products.
Processing and Re-using Recovered Raw Materials Generated from Manufacturing Processes
Carbon Fiber Recycling
Carbon fiber is a lightweight material that significantly curbs CO2 emissions over the entire lifecycle of the products in which it is used. It is viewed as an important tool for helping to solve global environmental issues. As a result, demand for carbon fiber is expanding across a wide range of applications, including aircraft and automobile parts. As demand grows, market expectations for the development of carbon fiber recycling technologies are also on the rise.
As a member of the Consortium for Carbon Fiber Recycling Technology Development (dissolved at the end of March 2015), Toray has taken steps to develop carbon fiber recycling technologies. The successful development of recycled carbon fiber and associated applications requires collaboration with a wide range of customers to explore various possibilities for use in specific parts and materials.
One example of this collaboration is the joint proposal made by Toray and Toyota Tsusho Corporation for the development of a highly efficient recycled carbon fiber manufacturing technology that uses an innovative and energy-efficient thermal decomposition method.2 This proposal was selected by Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) as part of its fiscal 2015 "Strategic Innovation Program for Energy Conservation Technologies." This new technology uses combustible gas from matrix resin as the energy source for the thermal decomposition process, which is the process that consumes the most energy in this type of carbon fiber recycling. As a result, the companies expect to significantly reduce the amount of energy consumed in the recycling process.
With an eye towards future commercialization, in November 2016, Toray constructed a pilot plant to test energy-efficient recycled carbon fiber manufacturing technologies. In addition, the Toray Group will promote the development of new applications for recycled carbon fiber.
- 2 Thermal decomposition method: A recycling method in which carbon fiber is recovered by heating carbon fiber composite materials and thermally decomposing the matrix resins.