Toray is aiming to leverage this brand to foster PET bottle recycling and to help materialize a closed loop economy by offering high-value-added fiber derived from PET bottles. It will thereby serve a shared interest among bottle collectors, manufacturers, and consumers in protecting the environment.
Toray will position “&+” as the symbol of a growing public desire for PET bottle recycling activity while doing the marketing to consumers through retailers not Japan but worldwide. It is also targeting to expand the use of high-value-added fibers from PET waste globally.
In the leadup to creating the brand, Toray developed techniques to manufacture an array of high-value-added, exceptionally white plastic bottle-derived fibers that incorporate traceability technology. Fashion items, sportswear, lifestyle wear, work uniforms, and consumer goods are among numerous applications that have been effectively off-limits to plastic bottle-derived fibers because of contaminants in waste. Another issue has been that the plastic bottles yellow as they age, impairing efforts to create white fibers.
Toray together with Kyoei Industry Co., Ltd. developed contaminant filtering technology and advanced cleaning techniques to stabilize the supply of raw materials that are impurity-free and no longer yellowish when used in textile and garments applications. Combining these materials with Toray’s fiber production technology, it is possible to achieve diverse fabric applications and perfect dye-ability comparable to the fibers materials made directly from petroleum source and also enable the possibility of creating high-value-added fibers that incorporate with traceability technology.
One key consideration in cultivating the waste-derived fiber business is to ensure the reliability of raw materials from plastic bottles. Toray therefore created the proprietary Recycling Identification System, which can detect special additives premixed in the raw materials.
Toray plans to setup and expand its PET bottle-derived fiber to diverse supply chains on everything from fibers to textiles and apparel, by utilizing its global manufacturing sites. The company will build a supply structure to respond to customers who share the same vision of materializing a sustainable economy.
As part of its Green Innovation Business Expansion Project, Toray is building its position in energy conservation, biomass, recycling, and diverse other fields to deliver lasting environmental, resources, and energy solutions. Toray will continue to leverage innovative, advanced materials to help the world overcome its challenges and progress sustainably for generations to come.