Chemical recyclers are unable to compete with incumbent technologies in the post-consumer waste market

March 29, 2019 | Case Study

In 2008, Toyo Seikan Group acquired the rights to a chemical recycling technology that could convert low-quality PET waste to a bis(hydroxyalkyl) terephthalate (BHET) monomer for PET remanufacturing. The group founded PET Refine Technology (PET RT) to commercialize this process, with the business objective to purchase as much cheap, low-quality post-consumer PET waste (colored, heavy additives, etc.) as possible and convert it to high-quality PET precursors. However, Japan's PET bottle design guidelines have caused the overwhelming majority of post-consumer plastic waste to become clear, forcing PET RT to use more expensive clear waste for most of its production.

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