A New Material from Japan now Worth Noting as a Solution to the Marine Plastic Pollution – Kaneka Biodegradable Polymer Green Planet –
Leading the World in Commercializing and Adopted by Major Brands in Japan and Abroad
The year 2023 is the mid-term year of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and on September 18-19, the SDG Summit will be held at UN Headquarters in New York, where world leaders will gather to discuss how to achieve the SDGs.
The theme of SDGs Goal No. 14 is to protect the richness of the oceans, which is to "conserve and sustainably use the oceans, sea and marine resources for sustainable development," to be achieved by 2030.
In recent years, marine pollution caused by plastic waste has become a serious problem. The amount of plastic waste in the world is 353 million tons. Only 9% of this is recycled, and 50% is disposed in landfills. (OECD “Global Plastic Outlook 2019”, https://www.oecd.org/environment/plastics/)
Kaneka Corporation (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Minoru Tanaka) provides value globally as a solution provider for social issues (“Environment & Energy”, “Food”, and “Health”) under the concept of "KANEKA thinks 'Wellness First'." KANEKA Biodegradable Polymer Green PlanetTM ("Green Planet") is a new material that can replace general-purpose plastics such as cutlery, shopping bags, straws, and amenities with non-petroleum-based products. General-purpose plastics products are estimated to amount to about 25 million tons annually worldwide.
Through the technological innovation and application expansion of Green Planet, we are working to solve various environmental problems such as marine pollution caused by plastics and the reduction of CO2 emissions.
■ “Green Planet”, an Alternative Material to Plastics, can be Decomposed in Seawater and turn into Carbon Dioxide and Water Eventually■
Green Planet is produced from biomass raw materials such as vegetable oil, and even if it should leak into the natural environment, it will be decomposed*1 by microorganisms and eventually turn into carbon dioxide and water. It is a rare material that can be decomposed not only in soil but also in seawater, where microorganisms are relatively scarce, and Green Planet was the first in the world to industrialize it.
■Further Reduction of Environmental Impact ~ Green Planet produced from Carbon Dioxide■
Currently, Green Planet is produced from biomass-derived raw materials such as vegetable oil and waste cooking oil, but this year we launched a project to develop technology of producing Green Planet directly from carbon dioxide to further reduce environmental impact. This project, " Development of Polymer Synthesis Technology by Microorganisms using CO2 as Direct Raw Material,"*2 is subsidized by the Japanese government and is targeted for commercialization in FY2030, and is expected to be included in the "Green Growth Strategy Through Achieving Carbon Neutrality in 2050" formulated on December 25, 2020 (revised on June 18, 2021) by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in collaboration with related ministries.
■Green Planet Selected by Various Domestic and International Brands■
Green Planet has already been adopted by major brand holders in Japan and overseas, with applications such as Starbucks Coffee Japan's to-go cutlery, Japan Airlines' in-flight shopping bags, Seven-Eleven Japan's straws, Tokyu Hotels' amenities, and many others*3. Overseas, the use of Green Planet is expanding to coffee capsules, compost bags, and other products. In the future, we expect to expand its application to agricultural films, seedling pots, and food containers and packaging materials.
If you are interested in interviewing companies that have adopted Green Planet, please contact us at the contact information below.
*1. Obtained “OK Biodegradable Marine”, a certification of biodegradability in seawater
OK Biodegradable MARINE: Biodegrades at least 90% in seawater (30℃) within 6 months. The "OK Biodegradable MARINE" certificate was issued to Green Planet™(formerly called PHBH™)in September 2017 by Vincotte, an international certifying body headquartered in Belgium. TÜV AUSTRIA Belgium NV took over the certification work from Vincotte in December 2017.
*2. Summary of the project “Development of Polymer Synthesis Technology by Microorganisms using CO2 as Direct Raw Material “
The project which had been selected by the "Green Innovation Fund Project / Promotion of Carbon Recycling Using CO2 from Biomanufacturing Technology as a Direct Raw Material” as a planned implementation sponsored by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and
< Reference >
Overview of the Green Innovation Fund Projects
Promotion of Carbon Recycling Using CO2 from Biomanufacturing Technology as a Direct Raw Material
News Release March 22,2023
“Development of Polymer Synthesis Technology by Microorganisms using CO2 as Direct Raw Material” selected as a NEDO Green Innovation Fund Project
Starbucks Coffee Japan:
Four initiatives aimed at reducing disposable materials such as cups, lids, and cutlery to be launched and expanded in spring 2022
Toothbrushes made from KANEKA Biodegradable Polymer Green Planet™ selected by Tokyu Hotels | KANEKA CORPORATION
In-flight Sales Shopping Bags made from Kaneka Biodegradable Polymer Green Planet™ selected by JAL | KANEKA CORPORATION
Kaneka Biodegradable Polymer PHBH™ applied to straws for Seven Café's new lineup | KANEKA CORPORATION
= Corporate Profile of Kaneka =
Kaneka Corporation is a diversified chemical manufacturer that operates in a wide range of fields including chemicals, functional resins, foam resins, electronics, synthetic fibers, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and foods. Net Sales 755.8 billion yen, Overseas Net Sales Ratio 45% (Financial Results, Fiscal 2023).
Company Name: Kaneka Corporation
Headquarters: Ark Mori Bldg., 1-12-32 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
President: Minoru Tanaka, President and Representative Director
Investors & Public Relations Department
Contact Person: Harada
Telephone:03-5574-8047 E-mail: Info_Pro@kaneka.co.jp