04. Aug 2022
Asahi Kasei, a multinational Japanese chemical company headquartered in Tokyo, joined European Bioplastics (EUBP) in June 2022.
With this Asahi Kasei will join the around 70 other member companies of EUBP that cover the entire bioplastics value chain. EUBP aims to advance the economic and regulatory framework in Europe to allow for the bioplastics market to grow and flourish, while promoting coherent standards, certifications and guidelines for transparent claims about bioplastics and their environmental benefits.
Since the European Commission announced its “Green Deal” in 2019, various environmental policies have been launched across the European Union. Asahi Kasei will contribute to the establishment of regulatory frameworks conducive to the dissemination of bioplastics by proactively offering opinions in EUBP working groups. At the same time, involvement in EUBP will enable Asahi Kasei to quickly discern trends in European environmental policy, which may be leveraged in Japan and other regions.
Earlier this year, Asahi Kasei has formed a strategic partnership with Genomatica (San Diego, CA, USA), regarding hexamethylenediamine (HMD) based on biomass-derived raw material (bio-HMD).
Asahi Kasei currently uses fossil fuel–derived HMD as an intermediate to manufacture Leona™ polyamide 66 (also called nylon 66), an engineering plastic featuring outstanding heat resistance and rigidity. Polyamide 66 is used for plastic parts in automotive and electronics applications, as well as yarn for airbag fabric. Demand for polyamide 66 is expected to increase worldwide.
By using this bio-HMD with its own polyamide 66 polymerization technology, Asahi Kasei aims to support its goal to be first-to-market with more sustainable polyamide 66 made using biomass-derived intermediate for the automotive and electronics application of plastics components and industrial fibre.
Asahi Kasei moreover expects that this use of biotechnology will contribute to reaching its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, while also alleviating the environmental burden throughout the life cycle of customers’ products.
In Asahi Kasei’s medium-term management plan ending in 2024, the Environment & Energy is identified as a priority field for provision of value. Asahi Kasei expects that its membership in EUBP will foster greater value creation in the area of the environment. AT