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US plant to produce paper-plastic composite

Japan / USA – A Japanese company has developed a method employing shredded paper in the production of a paper-plastic composite.

The process devised by Tokyo-based ECO Research Institute (ERI) grinds shredded paper to the micron-size range for use as a filler in thermoplastics. 

An ERI partnership with the Michigan Molecular Institute (MMI) in the USA has led to the formation of Eco Bio Plastics Midland, Inc. which will utilise the technology at a facility to be built at Midland in Michigan, with ground-breaking expected before the year-end. Dr James Plonka, MMI’s President and CEO, explains: ‘Our plans call for the initial paper-plastic composite production facility to produce 10 million pounds per year, with the ability to grow to 100 million pounds per year.’

He adds: ‘The bottom line in the short term is that because of legal and privacy concerns in the business, health and financial sectors, the generation of shredded paper is going to continue to mount, and this research provides a useful, potentially lucrative alternative to simply dumping this paper in landfills, or incinerating or re-pulping it. In the longer term, we expect to be able to utilise this technology to develop a whole host of different applications, across many different industries.’

Eco Bio Plastics Midland will be a US-based subsidiary of ERI, with MMI providing financial investment and technical support, as well as the development of new technology in the field. Now with numerous manufacturing sites in Japan and elsewhere in Asia, ERI was founded in 1998 by Takamichi Matsushita and its core business is manufacturing new materials out of industrial waste paper through innovative technology.

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