What is the LIMEX business?

LIMEX logo

LIMEX is Inorganic filler-dispersed composite materials containing more than 50% inorganic materials such as calcium carbonate. LIMEX, which was born in Japan, uses limestone as the main raw material to mold alternative products to plastic and paper, and can be recycled. In addition to our own factory, we have realized the construction of a supply chain with a fabless model overseas including OEM production.

About limestone

The material name LIMEX is a combination of the English name for limestone, "Limestone," and the letter "X," which stands for "infinite possibilities." Limestone is a rock that is mainly composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO 3) and is abundant all over the world. There are 220 limestone mines operating in Japan * 1, and it is one of the few natural resources that can be self-sufficient even in resource-poor Japan. Therefore, the price is cheap and stable.
With LIMEX, even in areas where water resources are scarce or in inland areas, it is possible to use raw materials that can be obtained locally. We can build a model of local production for local consumption around the world with a compact supply chain that is less subject to location restrictions and does not require long-distance transportation.

LIMEX global patent

In 2014, we obtained a domestic patent for “LIMEX”. Basic patents have been registered in over 40 countries around the world, including Japan, China, Europe, and the United States. In addition, more than 100 patent applications have been filed. In addition to being introduced at international conferences such as COP and G20, it has been registered as an excellent Japanese technology on the sustainable technology dissemination platform of UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization). In the future, as a technology originating in Japan, we will export technology and brands, aiming to become a material that is commonly used around the world.

Manufacturing method of LIMEX

More than 50% (weight ratio) of LIMEX is inorganic substances such as calcium carbonate derived from limestone, and the remainder is thermoplastic resin and various additives. These are uniformly kneaded to form a composite in a molten state. Limestone is inherently difficult to mix with other materials, so this is where our company's unique technology lies. LIMEX Pellet is made by cutting the melted composite into uniform size and shape from the extruder and making it into pellets (compounds). On the other hand, LIMEX Sheet is a composite that is extruded from a mold called a T-die, passed through a metal roll, and formed into a uniform sheet.

*Stone paper and LIMEX Sheet are different products.

 Diverse molding methods

LIMEX can be used not only for extrusion molding and inflation molding, but also for thermoforming and injection molding. LIMEX, which is a composite material, does not require dedicated equipment for its production, and LIMEX products can be molded using existing machines and manufacturing methods. LIMEX is used by more than 10,000* companies and municipalities.

*Including the number of registered offices

Recycable material

Compared to polypropylene (PP), which is a petroleum-based plastic, LIMEX has little change in resin characteristics such as fluidity and impact resistance before and after recycling, so it is characterized by its ability to suppress deterioration in physical properties. Therefore, it is suitable for mechanical recycling, and there are many examples of recycling so far.
In addition, at Yokosuka Plant, one of the largest recycling plants in Japan operated by TBM, waste plastic can be collected together with used LIMEX for automatic sorting and recycling. Using Yokosuka Plant as a model case, this scheme will serve as a solution for constructing a recycling system for areas in Japan that rely on incineration and heat recovery for processing waste plastics, as well as for overseas areas where mechanisms for sorting plastics at home are underdeveloped. We plan to expand the
In order to meet the growing global need for plastic alternative and recycled materials, TBM will provide services through CircleX, which recycles LIMEX and used plastics as raw materials, and MaaR, a service that coordinates material circulation of used LIMEX products and plastic products. , promotes mechanical recycling and contributes to the realization of a circular economy.

Click here for more information on material circulation

Future of LIMEX

Regarding material circulation of LIMEX, we have a plan to develop mechanical recycling of LIMEX and  plastics in Japan and overseas, modeled on the Yokosuka Plant operated by TBM. We are also focusing on building a material circulation infrastructure that collects and recycles LIMEX and plastics from businesses and general consumers.

In terms of technology development, ventures and large companies around the world are now embarking on CCU (Carbon Capture and Utilization), which captures CO2 as a resource, separates it, captures it, and makes effective use of it. TBM is also working with external partners to fix CO 2 emitted from factories and power plants to generate calcium carbonate. In the future, instead of limestone, which is a mineral resource, we aim to create a material that will further reduce greenhouse gas emissions through LIMEX, which is made from CO2 that has already been emitted.

On the other hand, with regard to plastic, which is a secondary raw material of LIMEX, we have already advanced technology development to replace plastic with plant-based plastcs, biodegradable plastics, marine biodegradable plastics, and recycled plastics.

In order to further improve the environmental performance of the current LIMEX, we will expand the material compatibility of "calcium carbonate" and "plastic" and increase the amount of contribution to reducing GHG emissions such as CO 2.


SDGs are international goals from 2016 to 2030 described in the "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" adopted at the United Nations Summit in September 2015. TBM mapped the relationship between each stage in the value chain and the 169 targets of the SDGs, and identified the contact points of  between our business and the goal. We have also established eight core goals that TBM's business can have a particularly large impact on.

Core Goals
LIMEX will contribute to SDGs 12 "Responsible consumption and production", 6 "Conservation of water resources", 13 "Climate change measures", 14 "Conservation of marine ecosystems", 15 "Conservation of terrestrial ecosystems", 8 "Job Creation", 9 "Industry Creation", and 17 “Collaboration” as core goals.

LIMEX as  JSA standard

The JSA standard (JSA-S1008) aims to clarify the definition of "inorganic-organic composite materials mainly composed of inorganic substances" including LIMEX, to promote market expansion and quality stabilization, and lead to fair trade. This was issued by the Japanese Standards Association on April 19, 2021. 

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