Toray Industries announced new developments in fiber production technologies and the launch of its capability to use recycled PET bottles. Using the new production techniques, a new commercial fiber brand called “&+” will produce whiter, finer recycled fibers with contaminant-screening capability, said the company.
The market for PET-recycled fiber is established, but some fashion items, sportswear, lifestyle wear, work uniforms and consumer goods and other applications have been off-limits to plastic bottle-derived fibers because of contaminants in waste. Additionally, plastic bottles yellow as they age, impairing efforts to create white fibers. Toray’s goal is the creation of a closed loop economy, offering high-value-added fiber derived from PET bottles, thereby serving a shared interest among bottle collectors, manufacturers and consumers in protecting the environment.
Toray, together with Kyoei Industry, developed contaminant filtering technology and advanced cleaning techniques to stabilize the supply of raw materials that are impurity-free and no longer yellowish when used in textile and garments applications, said the company. Combining these materials with Toray’s fiber production technology, it is now possible to achieve perfect dye-ability comparable the fibers materials made directly from petroleum source and also enable the possibility of creating high- value-added fibers that incorporate traceability technology.
Cultivating the waste-derived fiber business depends on the reliability of raw materials from plastic bottles. Toray therefore created the proprietary Recycling Identification System, which can detect special additives premixed in the raw materials.
Having addressed the twin problems of quality and traceability, Toray will expand its PET bottle-derived fiber to diverse supply chains on everything from fibers to textiles and apparel, by utilizing its global manufacturing sites. A new supply structure will respond to customers who share the same vision of materializing a sustainable economy.