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Uniform goal for polyester recycling

Japan – Japan-based Teijin Ltd’s polyester textile manufacturing and processing company Nantong Teijin is working towards the launch of a closed-loop recycling system for uniforms in China. In co-operation with Onward Trading and Fuji Xerox, Teijin’s ECO CIRCLE programme will be at the heart of the initiative that, it is said, will incorporate the world’s first technology for the chemical recycling of polyester.

According to the three partners, Teijin will be responsible for weaving and dyeing recyclable polyester textiles while Onward Trading will use this to produce several hundred uniforms worn by customer engineers Fuji Xerox and production line workers in Fuji’s e-scrap recycling branch.

On reaching their end-of-life phase, the uniforms will be collected and sent to the Zhejiang Jiaren New Materials recycling plant. ‘After chemical decomposition, the uniforms will be converted into polyester raw material, offering purity comparable to polyester derived directly from petroleum,’ states Teijin. This will yield high-quality polyester for Onward Trading to create new uniforms.

‘The Teijin Group has been operating its ECO CIRCLE recycling programme in China since 2009,’ comments Hiroaki Mimori, president of Nantong Teijin. ‘Beginning with the start-up of Zhejiang Jiaren New Materials’ recycling plant next year, we intend to steadily expand our environmental initiatives in this fast-growing market.’

Yasuaki Nakagawa, president of Onward Trading, says the project will ‘raise environmental consciousness in China’. He adds: ‘By combining Teijin’s world’s-first closed-loop recycling system and Onward’s clothing design, production and merchandising capabilities, our collaborative scheme will facilitate Fuji Xerox’s belief that used products are valuable resources, not waste.’

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