Toyota Tsusho Expanding its New Plant-Derived Plastic Brand GLOBIO®
-Decision made to use GLOBIO for Suntory Natural Mineral Water bottles-
Toyota Tsusho Corporation (headquarters: Nagoya City; President: Jun Karube) announces that GLOBIO--the company's newly introduced plant-derived plastic brand with which it is promoting environmentally friendly product development--will be used for the PET bottles of Suntory Natural Mineral Water, water obtained from three natural sources (Okudaisen, Minami Alps, and Aso). These products are to be re-released by Suntory Beverage & Food Limited (headquarters: Tokyo; President Nobuhiro Torii; hereafter "Suntory") starting in May 2013.
GLOBIO consists of bio-based mono-ethylene glycol made by plant-derived bioethanol, and refers to all Bio-polyethylene terephthalate (Bio-PET) plastics produced and sold start-to-finish by Toyota Tsusho. Since Bio-PET is made from plant-derived materials, it will not deteriorate carbon dioxide (CO2) emission into the atmosphere even when burned. Bio-PET has drawn much attentions as a resource that is environmentally friendly and that offers an alternative to petroleum-based PET resin.
Since annual global demand for petroleum-based PET plastics is currently estimated at approximately 60 million tons, it is predicted that with the rise of awareness regarding the need for coexistence with nature, adoption of plant-derived PET plastics will expand to approximately by more than 5% (approximately 3 million tons) of total demand by 2015.
In anticipation of these developments, Toyota Tsusho and China Manmade Fibers Corporation--a major Taiwanese chemical company--jointly founded a company in November 2010 that manufactures Bio-monoethylene glycol (Bio-MEG) made from plant-derived bioethanol. The Bio-PET made from the Bio-MEG manufactured by the company was confirmed as possessing traditional petroleum-derived PET-levels of quality, and in 2011 this Bio-PET began to be used in the interiors of automobiles from Toyota Motor Company (TMC). Furthermore, in April 2012, Bio-PET plastics under the GLOBIO brand began to be produced and sold in collaboration with Lotte Chemical, an affiliate of the Lotte Group in Korea, which enabled Toyota Tsusho to secure a stable supply system for Bio-PET plastics, to lead the current usage of the material in Suntory Natural Mineral Water PET bottles.
In addition to the above expansion of Bio-PET, Toyota Tsusho also sells Bio-polyethylene (Bio-PE) manufactured by Braskem S.A.--the largest chemical manufacturer in South America--as another of its initiatives related to plant-derived plastics. This material has been already used in a large number of products. In the future, Toyota Tsusho will continue to focus its efforts on the research and development of new advanced materials, hoping to realize a sustainable, recycling-based society.
* Bio-PET: polyethylene terephthalate (PET) that is manufactured using a synthesis of monoethylene glycol (MEG) made from plant-derived bioethanol
* Bio-PE: polyethylene (PE) that is manufactured using plant-derived bioethanol
1. What is GLOBIO®? * GLOBIO is a registered trademark of Toyota Tsusho Corporation
- GLOBIO refers to plant-derived PET plastics (Bio-PET) plastics that Toyota Tsusho hopes will be used in products that can contribute to the realization of a sustainable, recycling-based society, and also help the company achieve its corporate philosophy for co-existence and co-prosperity with people, society, and the Earth, and contribution to the formation of a more prosperous society.
- GLOBIO refers to all Bio-PET plastics created through condensation polymerization of 30% plant-derived Bio-monoethylene glycol (MEG) and 70% petroleum-dased terephthalic acid (TPA) by weight.
- The GLOBIO name is a combination of the words “globe” and “bio”.
2. Features of GLOBIO®
- Reduces the amount of petroleum used by approximately 30% due to being produced from plants
- Reduces CO2 emissions when burned by up to approximately 30% (based on calculations from a third-party organization)
- Can be used in a wide range of products that is completely the same as that of traditional polyester, including PET bottles, PET sheets (food packaging), polyester fiber (automobile interiors/clothes), and PET film
- Can be recycled just like petroleum-based products when used in PET bottles and easily replace traditional materials since its properties and quality are equivalent to those of petroleum-derived PET
- Ensures high traceability due to Toyota Tsusho’s creation of a coherent value chain starting with procurement of plant-derived bioethanol all the way to the production of Bio-PET plastics
- Enables products made with GLOBIO to display a “biomass mark” (shown above on the right) signifying approval by and registration with the Japan Organics Recycling Association (JORA) for its percentage of biomass materials (up to 30%)
3. Future Potential of GLOBIO®
- In the future, Toyota Tsusho expects to be able to commercially produce Bio-PTA, which could be combined with Bio-MEG to allow the company to produce 100% plant-derived Bio-PET.
- If this happens, Toyota Tsusho expects to be able to reduce the amount of petroleum used even further and make even greater contributions to reducing the environmental burden being placed on the Earth.