Joint development with Dow enables material recycling and reduction of landfill waste
Toppan Printing (Toppan) has launched sales of “ecocracy,” a recyclable fabric for banners and signage developed by combining Toppan’s processing technologies with Dow’s plastics expertise.
ecocracy adds to Toppan’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 offers greater recyclability than conventional tarpaulin banners.
In addition to driving material recyclability and reduction of landfill waste, ecocracy also helps to reduce plastic consumption because the volume of plastic resin used is less than half that of traditional tarpaulin-based products. The fabric also offers visual advantages by demonstrating superior optics and eye-catching brightness to grab the attention of crowds. 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 & technology director, Dow Olympic & 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.”
“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 & 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.”