Kaneka receives the 3rd Japan Bioindustry Award
―For the research and development of production technologies involved in Kaneka Biodegradable Polymer PHBH™―
October 11, 2019
Kaneka Corporation (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Mamoru Kadokura) has been awarded the 3rd Japan Bioindustry Award*1 by the Japan Bioindustry Association*2 due to their “Biodegradable plastic with marine degradability: research on microbial production system and development of large-scale production”, which was worked on in cooperation with Yoshiharu Doi, Professor Emeritus at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. This award is given to recognize outstanding work that has largely contributed to, and is expected to continue being an influence on, the development of bioindustries. An award ceremony took place at Pacifico Yokohama on October 9th.
Kaneka Biodegradable Polymer PHBH™ (referred to below as PHBH™) is a biopolymer that is100% plant-based and has excellent biodegradability under a wide range of environments. As microplastics continue to pollute the oceans, Kaneka has successfully developed the mass production of PHBH™, which has high biodegradability in seawater, through collaborations with industry and academia. Kaneka’s work received this award having been praised for its large contribution to the development of bioindustries both in Japan and overseas.
PHBH™ has been added to the positive lists of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Japan Hygienic Olefin and Styrene Plastics Association, and the European Commission, allowing it to be designated as a material for contact with all foods. A wide range of uses for PHBH™ are continuing to be employed. In Europe, sales of the material have increased for its use in fruit and vegetable packaging and compost*3 bags, and in Japan, major customers such as convenience stores and cosmetic makers are using it for straws, plastic bags and packaging material. In view of further increases in demand from here on, Kaneka is working to build-up the annual capacity of their PHBH™ manufacturing facilities (Takasago Manufacturing Site) from 1,000t to 5,000t, and this is scheduled to go into operation in December 2019.
In 2018, Kaneka established the ESG Charter in order to evolve into an ESG business. Kaneka is aiming to realize the sustainable development of society and a more qualitative society by helping to protect the environment through preserving resources and reducing the burden on the environment. Also, based on our mission of “Kaneda thinks Wellness First”, Kaneka will continue to offer value to the world as a solutions provider.
- This award was founded in 2017 on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Japan Bioindustry Association. The first was awarded to Tasuku Honjo, distinguished Professor at the Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study, and the second to Kiyoshi Takatsu, head of the Toyama Prefectural Institute for Pharmaceutical Research. (Titles are from the time the award was received.)
- An organization of representatives from industry, academia and government working together for the purpose of developing bioindustry technology that utilizes microorganisms and expanding related industries. They deal with a wide range of bioindustry-related work, from the latest technologies to industrialization.
- A processing method to decompose organic matter like garbage by the work of microorganisms into compost, or compost thereof.
Photograph taken at the award ceremony for the 3rd Japan Bioindustry Award
From left in the front row are Keiko Abe, Chairman of the Japan Bioindustry Association; Yoshiharu Doi, Professor Emeritus at the Tokyo Institute of Technology; Ken Matsumoto; Masuo Aizawa, Head Juror
From left in the rear row are Keiji Matsumoto; Tetsuya Fujiki; Shunsuke Sato