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Full-scale operation of the world’s first demonstration facility for the commercialisation of polycarbonate resin chemical recycling

The Mitsubishi Chemical Group, in collaboration with Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance and AB Corporation, will start demonstration tests in the Kanto region in January 2024 on a scheme to recover polycarbonate resin from used automobile headlamps, with the aim of commercialising the world’s first polycarbonate resin chemical recycling scheme. The demonstration experiment will commence in the Kanto region in January 2024.

A PC resin chemical recycling demonstration facility was completed in September 2023 at the Mitsubishi Chemical Kyushu Plant (Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture), and a recycling demonstration of used PC resin recovered from the market began in October.

This demonstration project has been adopted as a subsidised project by the Ministry of the Environment under the FY2022 Subsidy for Carbon Dioxide Emission Reduction Project, Demonstration Project for Establishing a Recycling System for Plastics and Other Resources to Support a Carbon Free Society.

The Mitsubishi Chemical Group aims not only to establish chemical recycling technology that can recycle recycled PC resin of higher quality, but also to build a recycling system. To this end, preparations are being made for the social implementation of a PC resin recycling system by collaborating with companies and other entities that use PC resin in their products and examining schemes to collect PC resin from multiple markets.

In February 2023, the Mitsubishi Chemical Group, Tokio Marine & Nichido and ABT began a demonstration test to recover acrylic resin from tail lamps and other products by utilising the end-of-life vehicle treatment networks of Tokio Marine & Nichido and ABT, as the first such initiative in Japan.

Demonstration tests for the recovery of headlamps, which are more difficult to recover than tail lamps, will now also begin (starting in January 2024 in the Kanto region). Based on the results of the verification of operations, material quality, costs, etc. obtained from the demonstration tests, the aim is to gradually expand the verification area to the whole of Japan.