Bio-PET factory, one of world’s largest, would cut carbon emissions tied to drink bottles.
TOKYO — Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co. will decide next year whether to build a bioplastics factory in the southeastern U.S., creating one of the largest production sites worldwide for the plant-based packaging material.
The proposed bio-PET plastics factory, with an annual capacity of 400,000 tonnes, could open in 2025. Investment is estimated at $550 million. Mitsui has signed a memorandum of understanding with U.S.-based chemical company Petron Scientech to explore a joint venture.
Bio-PET, short for bio-based polyethylene terephthalate, is a plant-derived version of the plastic produced from fossil fuels and commonly used in drink bottles. Carbon dioxide emissions from the factory’s bio-PET plastic are expected to be 70% to 80% lower than from petroleum-derived plastic.
The Mitsui factory would procure bioethanol made from plants such as American corn and Brazilian sugar cane to produce the bio-PET plastic. Recycled bottles would be mixed into the plastic, which then would be sold to beverage makers as a container material.
Global bio-PET plastic production capacity now totals around 1 million tons, Mitsui said, a figure that would soar if the plant is built.
Beverage makers worldwide have set goals to reduce their environmental impact, such as by increasing the use of recycled materials in packaging, but that requires an infrastructure for collecting containers. Bio-PET can complement recycling.
According to Nikkei Asia: https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Japan-s-Mitsui-eyes-building-550m-U.S.-bioplastics-plant