Gunze Opens Moriyama Circular Factory™ That Circulates Plastic Resources

12 April 2023

Gunze Limited Tokyo:3002] is pleased to announce that it will complete the transformation of its Moriyama Factory, the core of its plastic film business, into a Circular Factory™ (Resource Recycling Factory) on April 18. The factory will not only utilize solar energy and large water resources as energy, but will also consider products and raw materials that were discarded without use in the traditional linear system of "Take (resource extraction), Make (production), and Waste (disposal)" as new resources, creating a manufacturing system that recycles resources without producing waste. The plant will be a high-tech facility with a production system that recycles resources without producing waste.

In December 2019, Gunze established "Promoting a Basic Policy Toward a Recycling System for Plastics," declaring that 50% of the raw materials used in the plastics business will be recycled and biomass by 2027, and that the ratio will increase to 100% by 2030. The Circular Factory is a zero-emission*1 factory that produces no plastic waste. The company will then recover its own multilayer films with various types of materials and establish technologies for separating and recycling various types of materials to realize the commercialization of 100% recyclable raw materials.

*1 Zero Emissions
An initiative to achieve zero waste to landfills by reusing waste from one industry in another.

Overview of Moriyama Circular Factory

Location: 163 Morikawahara-cho, Moriyama-city, Shiga, Japan
Business description: Manufacture of shrinkable film for labels
Construction completion date: April 18, 2023
Total floor area: 10,786 square meters
Structure: Steel construction
Projected investment amount: 9,494 million yen (total investment through FY2027 with a view to final form)

Future developments

Upon completion of the Circular Factory, a recycling center will be established by 2026 to separate and recycle on a commercial basis various type of multilayer films, such as nylon and PET, which have been difficult to do with conventional technology.

The current trend for packaging materials that require gas barrier properties is toward mono-materials that are easy to recycle, but the company will promote the use of this separation and regeneration technology to take advantage of our core competence, which is technology to add functionality through multilayering.

In the plastic film business, the company has adopted the strategy of "Transforming ourselves into a circular manufacturer" by 2030, and will use the technology of the Moriyama Circular Factory to apply the know-how to other production sites, including those overseas, so that the entire Plastics Group will be committed to zero plastic waste by 2030.

About Gunze

Founded in 1896 in Kyoto, Japan, Gunze is a diversified company that is a leading developer and manufacturer of plastic films, engineering plastics, electronic components, medical devices, apparel and various other segments. Gunze employs more than 5,600 people in 10 countries worldwide.
Established in 1962, the Plastic Films business has a significant presence in 20 countries. It has three manufacturing plants in Japan and subsidiaries in the United States, Vietnam and China. Gunze's mission will continue to focus on improving the quality of life by providing innovative products and solutions.

Gunze Limited, Corporate Communication Department
Shinji Nonaka
TEL: +81-6-6348-1314

Gunze Limited, Plastic Film Company
Kazuhiro Norihide
TEL: +81-6-7731-5800