Shiseido Company, Limited (Shiseido), Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd. (Sekisui Chemical) and Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. (Sumitomo Chemical) will launch a joint initiative to establish a circular economy for plastic cosmetic containers, in which used plastic cosmetic containers are collected, converted into resources and materials without sorting, and recycled into plastic cosmetic containers.
Cosmetic containers are made from a wide variety of plastics as importance is given to content protection, ease of use and design. As a result, it is difficult to sort cosmetic containers for recycling, which is a significant challenge to recycle them into plastic resources. To solve this problem, Shiseido, Sekisui Chemical and Sumitomo Chemical have agreed to collaborate on the implementation of a new system for collecting used plastic cosmetic containers and recycling them into new cosmetic containers, leveraging their respective expertise.
Shiseido will implement a new system for collecting plastic cosmetic containers in retail stores and using recycled polyolefin (1) for its cosmetic containers. Sekisui Chemical will use BR(2) ethanol technology to convert used plastics into ethanol, a feedstock for plastics, by turning combustible waste into gas without sorting it, and converting the gas into ethanol using microbes. At the same time, Sumitomo Chemical will manufacture ethylene (3) from this ethanol using a technology to convert renewable ethanol into ethylene, and will produce polyolefin products of equivalent quality to conventional polyolefins using fossil resources from ethylene.
The three companies will advance this cross-sectoral alliance, while calling on related industries and businesses to join the effort, and strive to create a circular economy.
(1) Polyolefin: An umbrella term for certain types of plastics (synthetic resins), such as polyethylene and polypropylene.
(2) BR Ethanol Technology: A technology that gasifies combustible waste accumulated in waste disposal facilities without sorting and converts gas to ethanol using microbes without the application of heat or pressure. BR stands for biorefinery.
(3) Ethylene: A raw material for synthetic resins such as polyethylene and for organic compounds.