Toppan & Dow create recyclable event banners

Material recycling & reduction of landfill waste

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Toppan
Joint development with Dow enables recyclable polyolefin-based fabric decorations for Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Photo - Toppan

Japanese company Toppan Printing, a global leader in communication, security, packaging, décor materials, and electronics solutions, has launched sales of ‘ecocracy’, a recyclable fabric for banners and signage developed by combining Toppan’s processing technologies with Dow’s plastics expertise.

According to Toppan, ecocracy adds to the company’s lineup of increasingly eco-friendly solutions for a sustainable society by enabling banners and signage recovered after events have concluded to be re-pelletized as a recycled resin, which can then be blended with timber from wood waste to produce wood-plastic composite materials for such items as benches, floors, and plant pots.

Toppan’s selection of Dow’s polyolefin resin for the creation of the fabric and the use of polyolefin for all other plastic parts, such as membrane, mesh, eyelet, and yarn, facilitate a shift away from multiple plastic types to a monomaterial that claims to offer better recyclability than conventional tarpaulin banners.

Reduced plastic consumption

In addition to driving material recyclability and reducing landfill waste, ecocracy also helps reduce plastic consumption because the volume of plastic resin used is less than half that of traditional tarpaulin-based products, says Toppan. The fabric also offers visual advantages by demonstrating superior optics and eye-catching brightness to grab crowds’ attention. Toppan will produce, print, and process sheets used for ecocracy as well as recover banners, re-pelletize the polyolefin-based fabric and manufacture and sell products made from the recycled resin.

“This initiative is a great example of combining Dow’s materials science expertise with our customer’s market insights to create an outcome that is great for the environment,” said Nicoletta Piccolrovazzi, global sustainability and technology director, Dow Olympic and Sports Solutions. “Working hand-in-hand with Toppan, we developed this polyolefin-based fabric to address the growing need to give plastic a second life.”

Dow has recently committed to additional plastic recycling targets, including enabling 1 million metric tons of plastic to be collected, reused or recycled through its direct actions and partnerships.

“This project with Dow has enabled us to push beyond the traditional use and end-of-life of our products,” said Seiji Furuya, technical strategy and development manager in Toppan’s Information and Communication Division. “Recycling banners will showcase how collaborations such as ours can help society shift away from single-use plastics and reduce the amount of materials destined for incineration or landfills, to create something entirely new.”