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Kolon Industries partners with Switzerland's Gr3n to produce recycled PET chips for various applications

By Lim Chang-won Posted : August 30, 2021, 15:45 Updated : November 10, 2021, 10:53

[Courtesy of Kolon Industries]

SEOUL -- Kolon Industries, a chemical and textile manufacturing company in South Korea, will produce recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) chips for various applications with eco-friendly and high-quality raw materials from Gr3n, a Swiss company that invented an innovative recycling process.

Gr3n's technology is based on the application of microwave technology to alkaline hydrolysis, which provides an economically viable recycling process of PET. Kolon Industries said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Swiss company to establish a business partnership for chemical recycling technology.

The two companies would mass-produce eco-friendly plastics from 2025 and expand cooperation in various forms in eco-friendly materials. "We are very happy to have the opportunity to collaborate with a global partner who has core capabilities and competitiveness needed for eco-friendly renewable plastic businesses," Kolong Industries CEO Jang Hui-goo said in a statement on August 30.

Unlike physical recycling that uses post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials by grinding collected PET bottles and other materials into little pieces, chemical recycling breaks down and returns plastic to its pure, raw material form. It is an attractive way to address the explosive growth of plastic waste and disposal problems.

PET is the most common thermoplastic polymer resin used in the creation of fabrics and plastic bottles. Because PET bottles take an average of about 450 years to decompose into harmless substances, plastics including microscopic-sized pallets pollute oceans and eventually end up in animals to be consumed by humans.

In April, Kolon Industries partnered with SK Global Chemical to produce polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT), which is marketed as a fully biodegradable alternative to low-density polyethylene. PBAT makes it ideal for combination with other biodegradable polymers that have high elastic modulus and strength. Kolon Industries would share PBAT production and facility operation based on nylon and polyester production technologies to create high-quality PBAT products with raw materials from SK Global Chemical.


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