Fiscal 2019 CSR Activity Report- Contributing Solutions to Social Issues through Business Activities

Promoting Recycling Initiatives

Value Creation

As a manufacturer of a wide range of materials, Toray Group is promoting various recycling initiatives that ensure that the earth's resources are efficiently utilized. The Group will further expand its supply of recycled products and adopt more recycling technologies to help reduce plastic waste and promote a sound cycle of resource usage.

Recycling Activity PrinciplesAdopted in March 2004

  1. We shall design, produce, and sell products that reduce our impact on the environment.
  2. We shall purchase and use materials and products which will help reduce our impact on the environment.
  3. We shall disclose information related to recycling programs and recycled goods.
  4. We shall voluntarily cooperate with customers to recycle or otherwise appropriately dispose of our products.

Fiber and Textile Recycling

Toray Industries, Inc. has three brands in the fiber and textile recycling field: CYCLEAD™ (a system for collection and circulation type recycling which is used for recycling nylon 6 fibers, etc.), Ecouse™1 (a regeneration type recycled from nylon and polyester fibers.) and &+™

  1. 1 In fiscal 2015, the Company expanded the Ecouse™ brand to encompass non-fiber products, as an integrated brand name for recycled materials and products offered by Toray Industries.

Collection and Circulation Type Recycling with CYCLEAD™

Fabric made from recycled fibers recovered from disposed nylon and other products
Fabric made from recycled fibers recovered from disposed nylon and other products

Recycled Materials ECOUSE™ and &+™

ECOUSE™ is a textile mainly for corporate uniforms, made from reusing byproducts such as film and thread scraps from internal manufacturing processes. &+™ (“And Plus”) is a new fiber developed for sustainability, using discarded plastic PET bottles as raw material. Toray Industries employs filtering and cleaning technologies that remove foreign matter. This results in a fiber with high whiteness that can be made into a wide variety of products. Toray’s unique traceability function is also used for this material. Since January 2020, &+™ has expanded its application worldwide such as in the field of high-performance sportswear.

&+Process Diagram
&+™Process Diagram
  1. 1 &+™ raw pellets have better whiteness than typical recycled plastic pellets due to Toray's cleaning and filtering technologies.
  2. 2 &+™ fiber has a high degree of whiteness and can be made in a wide variety of textiles. It is therefore used in a wide range of clothing including fashion garments and sportswear, by meeting diverse needs for functionality, texture, and color variation. Clean PET bottles that have been properly sorted are transformed using various recycling processes into high-quality &+™ PET fiber.

Resin Recycling

Toray Group is expanding closed-loop recycling (in which end-of-life products are recycled into the same product) such as recycling of fans inside home air conditioners conducting with home electronics appliance makers.
The Group is also diversifying its procurement sources of recycled plastic to accommodate growing market needs, thereby expanding its recycled resin business.

In addition, the Group actively engages in pre-consumer recycling, by reusing byproducts from internal manufacturing processes such as film scraps and fiber scraps. It also promote post-consumer recycling using PET bottles and PC scraps in order to accommodate increasing needs for recycled materials due to laws and regulations regarding green procurement both in the country and overseas.

Pre-consumer/Post-consumer Recycling
Pre-consumer/Post-consumer Recycling

Film Recycling

Toray Industries is promoting pre-consumer recycling ,using byproducts from the PET film LUMIRROR™ manufacturing process in textile and resin applications, as well as for environmentally friendly film. Toray Industries is also promoting post-consumer recycling by collecting used PET film from our customers and recycling it into raw material for newly produced film.

Processing and Re-using Recovered Raw Materials Generated from Manufacturing Processes
Processing and Re-using Recovered Raw Materials Generated from Manufacturing Processes
Reusing waste PET film from customer manufacturing processes
Reusing waste PET film from customer 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.
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.
Toray Industries collaborated with Toyota Tsusho Corporation in a program of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) for the development of a highly efficient recycled carbon fiber manufacturing technology that uses an innovative and energy-efficient thermal decomposition method, 3 and completed the project in June 2017. 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 have significantly reduced the amount of energy consumed in the recycling process.
With an eye towards future commercialization, Toray Industries had constructed a pilot plant to test energy-efficient recycled carbon fiber manufacturing technologies, and began to operate it in July 2017. In addition, Toray Group will promote the development of new applications for recycled carbon fiber.

  1. 3 Thermal decomposition method: A recycling method in which carbon fiber is recovered by heating carbon fiber composite materials and thermally decomposing the matrix resins.