The Kuraray Group is a specialty polymers and chemicals manufacturer active globally in trading, fibers and textiles, functional materials, isoprene and vinyl acetate derivatives; the last being the company’s largest segment.
Today, the group is the global market leader in polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) resin, optical-use PVA film for liquid crystal display production, water-soluble PVA film and Eval, a marketed brand for ethylene vinyl-alcohol copolymer resins and films used in the food packaging industry.
Eval provides excellent barrier properties against the permeation of gases and preserves the flavor and quality of perishable goods.
In 2015, the Kuraray Group purchased Victoria-based Plantic Technologies Ltd. Established through industry-academia collaborations in 2002, the company manufactures Plantic, a bio-based, environmentally friendly barrier material, that is used in the food packaging industry.
“As a company providing solutions such as Eval, which is a chemically based product, we recognized Plantic would bring value to our business,” said Plantic Technologies President Kenzo Okamoto. “We now have a bio-based sustainable solution that we can offer to our customers.”
While still in its early stages as a company, Plantic has already done business with reputable brands such as Nestle SA, Cadbury Ltd. and Mars Inc. and is delivering 121 million recyclable meat and poultry trays to Coles Group Ltd., one of Australia’s largest supermarket retailers.
“Coles is our key customer and partner in Australia,” said Okamoto. “They are able to reduce their impact on the environment by using our products and solutions.”
With the Kuraray Group supporting Plantic Technologies’ research and development and distribution channels, Okamoto intends to strengthen their business channels in Australia while reaching out to European and North American markets.
“By 2025, all packaging in Australia will be recyclable, reusable and compostable, and similar targets are being set in Europe and global brand owners,” Okamoto said.
“Our products and solutions address the current needs of the global packaging industry. We will build on our innovative technologies through the combined expertise of the Kuraray Group and Plantic Technologies.”