Japan’s Showa Denko secures licence to process industrial waste

Author: Pearl Bantillo


SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Showa Denko KK (SDK) intends to promote plastic chemical recycling as the company obtained in July a licence to process industrial waste, the Japanese producer said on Monday.

It has started accepting used plastics, which were crushed and molded, it said in a statement.

“SDK obtained the license to process industrial waste as a response to the increase in such social needs,” it said.

“These days, social needs for high-technology based recycling of used plastics as a countermeasure against plastic-debris problems including marine plastic problem have been increasing,” the company said.

Showa Denko has been operating a plastic recycling business in Kawasaki, Kanagawa prefecture since 2003.

“SDK is the only company in the world that has track record of long-term commercial operation of plastic chemical recycling through gasification,” it said.

Its Kawasaki Plastic Recycling (KPR) business gasifies used plastic under high temperature.

The gasified plastics are converted into hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2), which are then used as raw material to produce ammonia, and CO2 as raw material to produce dry ice and carbonated drinks.

SDK’s new-obtained licence to process industrial waste enables it to diversify sources of used plastics. “Thus, SDK has established a used-plastics procurement system that supports stable operation of KPR,” the company said.

In Japan, about 83% of the 9m tonne plastics discharged annually are reused, with the balance incinerated or landfilled, it said.

Japan recycling for used plastics ('000 tonnes)

Type of reuse Volume
Chemical recycling 390
Material recycling 2,080
Thermal recycling 5,030
Total 7,500

Source: Showa Denko

Click here to see regulatory targets and a list of chemical and mechanical recyclers on the ICIS Circular Economy topic page.