PureCycle, Mitsui to cooperate in Japan

PureCycle, Mitsui to cooperate in Japan

Polypropylene recycling technology provider gains ally in Japan.

September 14, 2021

Florida-based polypropylene (PP) recycler PureCycle has announced signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Japan-based Mitsui & Co. Ltd. that could result in a PP chemical recycling plant being developed in that nation.

A news release from PureCycle calls the MOU “a first step to developing and operating a recycling facility in Japan to transform polypropylene (PP) waste into ultra-pure recycled polypropylene (UPRP).”

"We believe Mitsui is the best partner for PureCycle to help us lead and navigate the process of building a UPRP plant in Japan,” says Mike Otworth, PureCycle CEO. “Through the collaboration with Mitsui, we are now one step closer to our goal of reducing plastic waste across the world and revolutionizing the way people use plastic products. There is no reason [PP scrap] shouldn't be recycled and transformed into ultra-pure, sustainable polypropylene."

“Through this new joint project with PureCycle, Mitsui aims to contribute to the overall reduction of plastic waste and the establishment of a circular economy in Japan,” says Hiroshi Kakiuchi, managing officer and chief operating officer of the Performance Materials Business Unit at Mitsui. “By securing plastic [scrap] as the raw material, manufacturing recycled PP resin, and expanding the applications of the material for consumer goods, food containers, and automobile interiors, Mitsui aims to make a meaningful contribution to the creation of a more sustainable society.”

Mitsui's expertise will position PureCycle very well in Japan and will expand operations globally. Mitsui will help facilitate the pre-construction, on-the-ground operations and will be an integral part of PureCycle's work in Japan.

PureCycle says its Ironton, Ohio, facility is expected to begin commercial production in late 2022. Earlier this year, the company announced plans for a “cluster facility” in Augusta, Georgia. PureCycle says it has presold more than 20 years of UPRP output from the Ohio plant and already allocated 40 percent of its Augusta output to existing customers. The company reports “strong demand from premium brands, such as L'Oréal, which are looking to deliver recycled content into premium applications without sacrificing quality.”