Ibaraki Honjo Kikukawa The age of plastic recycling

With a view to supporting the development of a global
industrial plastic recycling and recovery sector, Veolia
is strengthening its positions, especially in Asia.
Since 2016, the Group has been operating three plastic
recycling and recovery sites in Japan near Tokyo.
The essential
Issue
Construct a global industrial plastic recycling and recovery sector to offer an alternative to virgin material.
Goal
Use Japan as a support base for Asia, as it is a country where the recycling rate is much higher than in Europe and a pioneer in terms of plastic waste regulations, with the 3Rs policy — Reduce, Reuse, Recycle — implemented in 2000.
Veolia's response
Particularly through an offensive acquisition strategy, Veolia is looking to become the leader on the Japanese market in the plastic sorting, recycling and recovery sectors.
Published in the dossier of October 2018
Share

The Ecos Factory and Green Loop plants are dedicated to sorting and the production of recycled plastic pellets, while Veolia’s site in Ibaraki turns these pellets into high-quality compounds* (recycled raw material).

From sorting…

On the Ecos Factory and Green Loop sites in Honjo and Kikukawa respectively, Veolia sorts the plastic waste from the surrounding municipalities and turns it into top-quality pellets. The aim is to reduce the volume of waste and improve the quality of the plastics processed. Several types of polymers are recycled there: LDPE (low-density polyethylene), PS (polystyrene) and PP (polypropylene).

…to compounding

In Ibaraki, Veolia produces high-quality compounds for its clients in the plastics manufacturing sector using the plastic pellets provided by Ecos Factory and Green Loop. The pellets are mixed, combining the polymers according to specific percentages to create a compound that can be used as a raw material in the manufacture of new products. The Ibaraki site also works for the automobile industry.

While Veolia’s activity in Ibaraki is based on the free market associated with the plastics manufacturing industry, Ecos Factory and Green Loop’s business model depends 80% on the highly regulated sorting market. This market is regulated by the Japan Containers and Packaging Recycling Association (JCPRA), which is equivalent to the eco-friendly waste management body Citeo in France.

A promising outlook

In a highly fragmented Japanese recycled plastic market, Veolia’s three sites stand out with their ability to meet the growing needs of their clients in terms of performance and post-completion monitoring. The three plants are equipped with optical sorting machines and are exemplary when it comes to water management and energy consumption optimization.

Veolia’s aim is to establish a lasting presence on the Japanese market. In barely two years, the Group has become a fully fledged player in the plastic recycling sector there. The future looks bright: Veolia is already number two in terms of market share on the sorting market.

Key figures for 2017

PRODUCTION CAPACITIES / ACTUAL PRODUCTION

  • Ecos Factory : 36,600 metric tons per year / 25,590 tons
  • Green Loop : 36,600 metric tons per year / 15,410 tons
  • Veolia Ibaraki : 10,000 metric tons per year / 7,800 tons

More:

Resourcing the world
 

 

*Compounding is an extrusion-pelletization process enabling a polymer (thermoplastic resin) to be melt blended with one or more additives. This process alters the physical, thermal, electrical or aesthetic characteristics of the plastic material. The end product is known as a compound or composite.