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Aquafil, ITOCHU partners to expand and accelerate the nylon circular business

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2022-03-17 05:47:25 – Japan

ITOCHU Corporation, headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo and Aquafil S.p.A., the creator of the branded ECONYL® regenerated nylon and pioneer in the circular economy, announced a non-exclusive business alliance agreement to promote and expand the nylon circular business.

Nobuyuki Tabata, Chief Operating Officer of Chemical Department at ITOCHU, said that their business relationship with Aquafil enables them to commit to the nylon circular business and improve their contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals in their Medium-Term Management Plan "Brand New Deal 2023. ITOCHU has been boosting waste nylon collection, ECONYL® branded product sales, and the development of new uses since the strategic alliance was launched last year. ITOCHU's network has resulted in advancements in every field. ITOCHU has chosen to make a substantial investment in Aquafil to further deepen and accelerate the collaboration.

Giulio Bonazzi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aquafil, said that the business alliance with ITOCHU is another key step in their long journey and provides them with the opportunities and values to grow further in the ECONYL® business through the collection of nylon waste and the marketing of ECONYL® branded products. They're particularly happy of the accomplishments they've made together with ITOCHU so far, and they're confident that their firms' collaboration will result in more long-term market solutions.

Aquafil developed the ECONYL® Regeneration System in 2011, which converts recovered nylon waste including fishing nets, carpets, and post-industrial waste into caprolactam (CPL), a basic raw ingredient. Aquafil's patented depolymerization recycling technique entirely eliminates impurities, resulting in a regenerated nylon product with the same properties as raw materials.

When compared to conventional nylon made from crude oil, ECONYL® nylon is made entirely of nylon waste, resulting in a CO2 reduction of up to 90%. ECONYL® branded products have been accepted as an environmentally friendly material by over 2,000 brands throughout the world, with a focus on the fashion and carpet industries.

The success and recognition of ECONYL® will be bolstered in the future thanks to synergies with ITOCHU's global network, which will help to promote global nylon trash collection, as well as sales and development of ECONYL® branded materials in both old and innovative businesses. Furthermore, novel solutions based on eco-design projects will be created and implemented under the two Parties' circularity-driven agendas.

In its medium-term management plan "Brand New Deal 2023," ITOCHU has determined that contributing to the SDGs and bolstering measures is a core policy. ITOCHU and Aquafil will contribute to the creation of a sustainable recycling-oriented society by expanding their nylon circulation recycling operations.

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