June 26, 2022

South Korea’s SK Chemicals has announced to become the first company in the world to begin mass-production of chemically recycled copolyester, a synthetic plastic widely used in packaging.

According to the chemical company, it will produce more than 10,000 metric tons of chemically recycled plastic and supply it to cosmetics brands in the home country and abroad.

The company boasts’ about its achievement by mentioning that not a single company in the world has ever mass-produced plastic via chemical recycling. Such mass-production of copolyester requires a safe supply chain of plastic waste, along with a high level of refining and extraction technology.

The company in order to ensure a stable supply of raw materials in May it had acquired a 10 percent stake in Shuye, a Chinese firm that specializes in recycling plastic waste. SK Chemicals, through the partnership, has secured over 20,000 tons of plastic waste and established a production line of copolyester in Ulsan.

According to SK Chemicals, as demand for eco-friendly packaging is on the rise, it aims to increase the ratio of recyclable products to 50 percent by 2025 and 100 percent by 2030.

Earlier on Wednesday, SK Chemicals due to deteriorating profitability have decided to sell its polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) business to HDC Hyundai Engineering Plastics Co.

According to the company’s regulatory filing, the transaction has been valued at 38.5 billion won (US$32.8 million). This will involve the sales of the entire PPS division and its production line in Ulsan.

It had cited limitations in improving the business’ profitability and increased financial burden as reasons for the sale.

According to reports, the chemical company had entered the engineering plastic PPS business in 2013. However, it has been suffering losses due to slow sales and tougher price competition.

The PPS is commonly used in electric vehicles and electronics industries as an alternative to metal due to its lightweight.

The company here forth mentioned that it will focus on remodeling its portfolio centering on environmentally friendly businesses.

About SK Chemicals

The company is known for manufacturing environmentally friendly materials. It produces and sells energy-saving materials, high-performance materials, composites, and other products.