Using technologies such as our original near-infrared identification technology, PETEC is capable of sorting shredder residue of waste home appliances into three major types of resins with different purposes and properties—polypropylene (PP), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), and polystyrene (PS)—at a material purity of over 99%.
The recycled single resins sorted and recovered at PETEC are then transferred to the adjacent Kato Plastic Recycling Factory to be further purified and processed to recover their chemical properties. Kato Plastic Recycling Factory is a manufacturing and development site that demonstrates promotion of use of recycled resin at our Appliances Company, a home appliance manufacturer and seller. The factory plays an important role in enhancing recycled resin utilization by developing recycling technologies, such as a more efficient method for improving the purity of recycled resins. Recycled resin is generally weaker in strength and has a shorter life than new resin. This is why its chemical properties have to be recovered to the level of new resin to make them usable as materials and components in new products. The properties required by our customers vary depending on the resin. We have established techniques that make full use of the properties optimal to each resin such as PP, ABS, and PS, which include adding antioxidants or mixing recycled and new resins.
In fiscal 2018, development of high-performance materials was focused, including the recycling of flame retardant PS from the back covers of TV sets and flame retardant PP from nonwoven fabric. A recycling method was also developed for PPGF (PP containing short glass fibers) from drum-type washing machines that had not been recycled in the past into talc-filled PP with high rigidity.
Recycled resin quality-assured by Kato Plastic Recycling Factory are being used in our manufacturing factories, and depending on the resin type, reborn as internal parts of air conditioners, IH cooking heaters and refrigerators.