Polyester and textile maker Far Eastern New Century Corp (FENC, 遠東新世紀) yesterday unveiled the world’s first all-in-one chemical recycling solution for post-consumer waste textiles, which it said would support the circular economy and help maintain its leadership in smart textile innovation.
“The solution, FENC TopGreen rTex, closes the loop of current PET recycling, diverting what was once destined for landfills to value-added new consumer goods,” FENC president Eric Hu (胡正隆) told a news conference in Taipei.
Textile waste is a growing problem and the popularity of “fast fashion” has only exacerbated the problem, Hu said.
According to the US-based Council for Textile Recycling, the US generates 11 million tonnes of textile waste a year, with 85 percent of post-consumer textile waste ending up in landfills and just 15 percent reused or downcycled.
The firm’s new process can help recycle polyester from all types of used textiles, including mixed streams, FENC Research and Development, Innovation, Marketing and Partnership manager Jeffrey Hsu (許嘉夫) said.
Collected post-consumer textiles are separated without a need for additional decoloring or use of complex solvents, Hsu said.
The polyester is dissolved and the mixed polymers and dyestuffs are filtered out, he said, adding that cellulose isolated in the process is converted into energy-dense fuel rods which can generate electricity.
The company has a product line made from recycled PET bottles, which is used in a wide range of applications, from injection-molded products to footwear and clothing, Hu said.
The Taipei-based company supplies polyester-related materials to major global sports, outdoor, leisure and fast fashion brands.
Since 2015, FENC has collaborated with Adidas AG to commercialize trainers using recycled plastic dredged from the oceans to raise awareness of the environmental issue, Hu said.
The collaboration reprocessed more than 1,000 tonnes of marine waste last year and the volume is expected to grow to 1,600 tonnes this year.
The German brand is phasing out the use of virgin polyester in all shoes and clothing, and has committed to using only recycled plastics by 2024.
Recycled products accounted for 26 percent of FENC offering last year and their share is rapidly expanding, FENC Polyester Division manager Eva Luo (羅怡文) said.
A manufacturing facility in Japan is adding 50,000 tonnes of annual capacity by 2020 to meet rising demand ahead of the Tokyo Summer Olympics, Luo added.
FENC has also approved plans to build a plant in the Philippines that would add 36,000 tonnes of anjual capacity.
“Ever more consumers are willing to spend more on products that are friendly to the environment,” Hu said.
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
The output of the global smartphone industry this year is to contract by 7.8 percent on an annual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a global recession, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report on Monday. The global production of smartphones is expected to fall to 1.29 billion units, as the pandemic dampens demand for consumer electronics, leading to a decline in shipments across Europe and North America, TrendForce said. With consumers delaying smartphone purchases and thereby lengthening the device replacement cycle, overall prices would suffer a setback that is expected to negatively affect the profitability of smartphone