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Minamisoma company turns vegetable waste into eco-friendly plastic

A Japanese company has found a new way to make eco-friendly plastic; Toresyoku, a firm based in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, has developed technology that efficiently removes cellulose and provides plastic-processing firms with low-priced cellulose.

Cellulose is a carbohydrate found in the cell walls of plants, and is recognized as dietary fiber. It has recently gained international prominence as a cutting-edge biomaterial to replace petroleum in plastic production. By using cellulose as the raw material to produce plastic, it also becomes possible to increase the strength of plastic, as well as reduce the use of petroleum-based materials within it.

Toresyoku established its own technology for extracting cellulose efficiently through component decomposition using enzymes. It uses vegetable waste such as cabbage cores, rice husks and the leaves and stems of tomatoes and broccoli, as well as coffee grounds collected from farms in Fukushima Prefecture’s eastern coastal areas and agricultural cooperatives in and outside the prefecture.

Toresyoku’s technology will enable the firm to mass produce cellulose efficiently and provide the material between one-fifth to one-tenth of the usual price.


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