Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC; Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Masayuki Waga) announced today that FORZEAS™ (biodegradable polymer compound) is to be used for cutlery made by Tosho Chemical Co., Ltd. (Tosho Chemical; Head office: Setagaya-ku, Tokyo; President: Takayoshi Matsui). This will be the first time that a biodegradable polymer will be used to manufacture cutlery in Japan.
FORZEAS is a bio compound based on BioPBS™, a biodegradable polymer developed by MCC. Taking advantage of its excellent heat resistance and compatibility with other polymers, BioPBS™ is combined with other biodegradable polymers and additives to create a compound that offers the characteristics needed in today’s marketplace. It is also environmentally friendly as it is plant-derived and decomposes into water and carbon dioxide by microorganisms in the natural environment.
Tosho Chemical manufactures and sells cutlery including spoons, knives, and forks, and commands the top share in the Japanese market for these products. Its cutlery has a track record of use in a wide range of outlets, including convenience stores, fast food restaurants, and coffee shops.
This cutlery made from FORZEAS™ needed to be smooth to the touch and robust as well as heat resistant. This required repeated improvements in both MCC’s compounding technology and Tosho Chemical’s injection molding technology to create a commercially viable product.
Currently, increased demand for takeout meals and deliveries is leading to greater need for plastic cutlery. On the other hand, there is a growing desire to address the environmental issues caused by plastic. MCC will continue to expedite its R&D and development of new applications for biodegradable plant-derived polymers such as BioPBS™ and FORZEAS™ in order to contribute to creation of a circular society and achievement of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.
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