Mitsui Signs MOU with PureCycle Technologies to Develop Recycled Polypropylene Production Project in Japan

Sep. 13, 2021

Mitsui & Co., Ltd. ("Mitsui", Head Office: Tokyo, Japan, President and CEO: Kenichi Hori) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with PureCycle Technologies, Inc. ("PureCycle", "the Company", Head Office: Florida, USA, CEO: Mike Otworth) to jointly develop a recycled polypropylene resin production project in Japan.

Through this partnership with PureCycle, Mitsui aims to support the Japanese government's goal to increase plastic recycling toward 2030, and enhance supply capability of recycled polypropylene ("PP") resin. PP is a substance widely used to produce packaging materials and automobile parts but which has proven difficult to recycle and purify due to the use of additives, such as colorants, during the manufacturing process.

Using cutting-edge technology, PureCycle has succeeded in producing Ultra-Pure Recycled Polypropylene (UPRP), a recycled PP material with similar quality as virgin resin, from plastic waste. PureCycle is seeing strong demand from premium brands, like L'Oreal, who are looking to deliver recycled content into premium applications without sacrificing quality.

Hiroshi Kakiuchi, Managing Officer, Chief Operating Officer of Performance Materials Business Unit at Mitsui said: "Mitsui has identified "sustainability management and the evolution of ESG" as key areas of its Corporate Strategy. Through this new joint project with PureCycle, Mitsui aims to contribute to the overall reduction of plastic waste and the establishment of a circular economy in Japan. By securing plastic waste as the raw material, manufacturing recycled PP resin, and expanding the applications of the material for consumer goods, food containers, and automobile interiors, Mitsui aims to make a meaningful contribution to the creation of the more sustainable society."

Mike Otworth, CEO of PureCycle, said: "We believe Mitsui is the best partner for PureCycle to help us lead and navigate the process of building an ultra-pure recycled polypropylene plant in Japan. Through the collaboration with Mitsui, we are now one step closer to our goal of reducing plastic waste across the world and revolutionizing the way people use plastic products. There is no reason polypropylene waste shouldn't be recycled and transformed into an ultra-pure, sustainable polypropylene."

In the US, PureCycle has presold more than 20 years' worth of UPRP output from its upcoming Ohio plant, which has a production capacity of about 50,000 tons per year and will be operational by the end of 2022. The Company has also allocated 40% of capacity in its planned first US cluster facility in Georgia to its existing customers.

Recycled Polypropylene</br>
Existing technology (THE PAST), PureCycle technology (THE FUTURE)
Recycled Polypropylene
Existing technology (THE PAST), PureCycle technology (THE FUTURE)

Mitsui’s Materiality

“Build brighter futures, everywhere” as our corporate mission, and to gain the trust and expectations of our stakeholders to realize a better tomorrow for earth and for people around the world, we have identified five material issues (“Materiality”) for Mitsui’s sustainable growth. We anticipate this particular project/ business to contribute especially to the realization of “Secure sustainable supply of essential products” and “Enhance quality of life” and “Create an eco-friendly society”

  • Secure sustainable supply of essential products

    Secure sustainable supply of essential products

  • Enhance quality of life

    Enhance quality of life

  • Create an eco-friendly society

    Create an eco-friendly society

  • Develop talent leading to value creation

    Develop talent leading to value creation

  • Build an organization with integrity

    Build an organization with integrity