Teijin Limited announced today that it has begun licensing the development of products made with
its PURITY® polyester polymer, a product free of antimony and other heavy metals and made with a
proprietary polymerization catalyst that Teijin developed in 2001.
Besides containing no heavy metals (defined by Teijin as elements with specific gravity of
5.0 or greater and subject to control under Japan’s Pollutant Release and Transfer Register
Regulation), PURITY® polyester polymers offer appearance comparable to that of traditional
polyester fibers created with heavy metals.
Last year, Teijin Fibers Limited began taking steps to license PURITY® to environmentally
conscious synthetic-fiber manufacturers and PET bottle resin manufacturers in Japan and abroad. The
first technical license agreement was reached in July this year with one of Asia’s largest
manufacturers of polyester for the production of PET bottle resin. The two parties have also
reached a basic license agreement for the production of fiber polymers.
In pursuit of further collaboration, they are now working on an OEM agreement for the
production of PET bottle resin and polyester fiber consigned to the Teijin Group.
Teijin will now pursue PURITY® licensing agreements worldwide, focusing on widespread
adoption of this low-impact technology by environmentally conscious manufacturers.
Polyester fibers in general do not contain harmful elements such as chlorine, nor do they
generate dioxin and other substances when incinerated. They also can be recycled, making them
especially green. Added to these qualities, PURITY® offers the following advantages:
– Created with a proprietary titanium polymer catalyst, making it free of
– Enables the same level of quality as that of products made from
catalysts containing heavy or rare metals.
– Adds greater transparency to polyester products.
– Offers a film surface greater smoothness.
– When used for PET bottles, the flavor of content is less influenced
because of the lower acetaldehyde compared to that of conventional products.
Heavy metals generally are highly toxic and place a great burden on the environment. The
majority of heavy metals are controlled by Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR)
Regulation, like other chemical elements and compounds that negatively affect the human body and
the earth’s ecosystem.
Teijin selected titanium, which is not controlled by PRTR Regulation, for the polyester
polymerization catalyst used to create PURITY®. Titanium, the seventh most abundant element on
earth, is used in dental treatments and cosmetics because of its low impact on the human body, as
well as the earth’s ecosystem. Disposal of titanium by burning does not produce toxic substances.
Titanium is available in stable supply and at reasonable cost, and it is safe. Clearly, it is the
best catalyst for polymerization.
The Teijin Group now plans to expand licensed production in Asia, Europe and North America,
aiming at PURITY® accounting for 10% of global polyester consumption by 2015. Global polyester
consumption currently stands at 68 million tons per year, according to PCI Xylenes &
Polyester’s World Supply & Demand Report.
In addition Teijin Fibers Limited announced that ECO CIRCLE(r), a closed-loop recycling
system for used polyester products that employs unprecedented chemical recycling technology, has
welcomed its 100th company as a registered participant. Since its launch in 2002, ECO CIRCLE(r) has
been participated by companies that share a commitment to promoting progressive environmental
activities through product development, collection of used materials and recycling.
While the original focus of ECO CIRCLE(r) was on recycling uniforms and interior materials,
the initiative was expanded through collaborations in 2005 with Patagonia Inc., a leading U.S.
outdoor gear manufacturer, and fashion wear manufacturers in 2006. Overseas members have increased
since 2007 and now include major manufacturers such as Mountain Equipment Co-op in Canada and
Quiksilver in France.
Products within the scope of ECO CIRCLE(r) now include eco bags, which was introduced in
2006. Teijin Fibers has also been raising consumer awareness of recycling by promoting ECO
CIRCLE(r) at major music and sports events.
With overseas companies currently accounting for only about 10% of total membership, Teijin
Fibers hopes to expand their presence through more international collaborations. There also are
plans to expand the product scope of the members. Currently, about 40 members deal in uniforms, 20
school gym clothes, 10 interior items, 10 sportswear and fashion wear and 20 bags and materials. In
the future, however, the plan is to target not only clothing companies, but also makers of a wide
range of other products.
Developed by Teijin Fibers, ECO CIRCLE(r) is a closed-loop recycling system for used
polyester products. The system employs the world’s first technology for chemical recycling, which
chemically decomposes polyester for conversion into new polyester raw materials that offer
purity comparable to those derived from petroleum. Teijin Fibers cooperates with registered apparel
sportswear manufacturers worldwide for the development and manufacture of products made from
recyclable materials, as well as to collect and recycle these products at the end of their useful
lives. Compared to developing polyester materials from petroleum, this repeatable recycling system
reduces energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 80% each. For details,
November 12, 2008
Press Release Courtesy of Teijin