Limestone is a sustainable raw material, with abundant reserves all over the world.
It is 100% self-sufficient even in Japan, and said to be almost inexhaustible.
We believe that this sustainable material can save the world.
Earth, a Planet of Stones.
Limestone, the raw material for LIMEX, is an abundant resource, and is 100% self-sufficient in Japan. Furthermore, since it is abundant around the world, and can also be recycled highly efficiently, it is virtually inexhaustible. Because it is a resource that is abundant everywhere, we believe it can save the world.
- International Patents for LIMEX
- In 2014, LIMEX was patented in Japan.
The basic patent has been submitted in over 40 countries worldwide,
and has already been patented in over 30 countries including Japan, China,
Europe and the U.S. More than 10 other patents have been submitted as well.
We will export the LIMEX technology and brand as a new Japanese technology,
so that LIMEX becomes a material used commonly in the world.
- LIMEX Manufacturing Process.
- LIMEX is an advanced material produced from calcium carbonate (CaCO3), which is derived from limestone, and a small amount of polymeric resin added as a binder. These materials are heated and kneaded in a twin screw extruder, creating a molten, homogeneous composite containing over 50% calcium carbonate by body weight. Next, the composite is heat and pressure treated under LIMEX’s proprietary manufacturing process, resulting in material properties ideal for post-processing.
- LIMEX sheet is manufactured by T-die sheet extrusion of the molten composite, and stretching process controlling a porous structure in order to create whiteness and lightness. Next, specific coating agent is applied onto the surface of LIMEX sheet depending on its application, enhancing surface properties for various kinds of printing process.
- LIMEX pellet is manufactured by pelletizing, the process of molding the molten composite into the shape of a pellet. LIMEX pellet is also manufactured by pelletizing edge waste produced through manufacturing and printing process or used LIMEX sheets collected from consumers.
- Flexible molding using LIMEX.
- In contrast with stone paper, LIMEX is suitable for diverse molding methods including injection molding, extrusion molding, vacuum molding, and blow molding. Though LIMEX is a composite material, it does not require custom equipment and can be processed using traditional methods and machinery.
LIMEX and SDGs
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the international goals from 2016 to 2030 stated in "The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," adopted at the United Nations summit in September 2015.
The SDGs are comprised of 17 goals to realize a sustainable world. LIMEX can contribute to the following eight goals of SDGs.
We make the most use of resources and regenerate its value sustainably.
A circular economy is the future we aim for.
Our Hope, Biodegradable LIMEX
Recently, more and more countries are banning the use of single-use plastic products such as plastic bags, food containers, cutleries etc. LIMEX is mainly made from limestone and uses polyolefin resin as a minority material, and we have started developing a biodegradable LIMEX that replaces polyolefin resin with biomass-based and biodegradable material, to be used in such countries.
Upcycling: Going One Step Ahead of Recycling
Upcycling is different from conventional recycling. Upcycling is a new methodology of sustainable manufacturing, to add higher or another value to the original used product. In the case of LIMEX, the collected post-consumer LIMEX products (paper alternative products) will be upcycled into plastic alternative products.
The Future of LIMEX
The European Commission has announced its goal to eliminate single-use plastic packaging in the region by 2030 and to reuse or materially recycle all plastic packaging. We think this is a big chance for LIMEX. In regions such as Europe where the infrastructure for recycling is available, we will establish a model for LIMEX upcycling. In regions where the recycling infrastructure is not yet established, we will provide biodegradable LIMEX products.