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Styrofoam recycling picture book “Styro”

picture book.jpg

J-EPS Recycling Association and Pana Chemical Co., Ltd. have been working together on a special project to celebrate the 45-year history of J-EPS Recycling, a styrofoam recycling company that originated in Japan.

The first project is the production of "Styro" a picture book of recycled styrene foam.


Styrofoam recycling, which began about 45 years ago in a corner of the Tsukiji market, has now been adopted by more than 2,000 companies nationwide and has become a major part of the chain of recycling 3,000 tons of Styrofoam per month, or 1.5 million tons in total. We are truly honored to have been a part of this project, which is a testament to the progress we have made together with our Styrofoam recycling customers nationwide.


The introduction of the recycling processor and the ingot purchase system have also been widely recognized in Japan and abroad as outstanding success stories of recycling, and have been covered by many media and educational institutions. These accomplishments are the result of our cooperation and trust with our customers, and we would like to express our gratitude for their support.


Styrofoam ingots were once used as raw material for VHS video cassettes, but today they are used in a wide variety of applications, including picture frames, insulation, shoe soles, and computer peripherals, and their demand is stable worldwide. It has truly become Japan's plastic export resource.


Over the past 45 years, Pana Chemical Co., Ltd. has faced many challenges, including the Hong Kong import ban, the Lehman Shock, and the Chinese import ban, but we have overcome these difficulties by working closely with our customers.

Recently, we faced the export restrictions of the Basel Law, and the export of ingots was in jeopardy. However, we participated in the Basel Enactment Committee, and the Ministry of the Environment recognized J-EPS Recycling's achievements and technology, allowing us to export Styrofoam ingots. We are truly grateful for this achievement, which was built in cooperation with our customers.


Styrofoam is considered difficult to recycle worldwide, and there are motions to ban it from the United Nations and other organizations. For this reason, the J-EPS Recycling Association is sharing and disseminating information domestically and internationally. Currently, more than 200 companies are members of the association, and we will continue to strengthen our educational activities and share information, posters, and goods.


We dedicate this styro picture book to all those involved in J-EPS recycling and to the children who are the future of Japan.


J-EPS Recycling Association
Pana Chemical Co.,ltd


Styrofoam Recycling

10,000 km Journey

Ogawa Kenichi     Inukai Kent

put on a conveyor belt,
The plastic material gradually becomes a styrofoam box.
Among them was a newborn Styro.

There were ships and buildings to which the steel was transported.
It is crowded with many people.
"Where is this?"


The fisherman put the ice and the fish in the styrofoam.
"I caught a particularly good fish this morning, so please carry it to the market with care!"


Styro fell asleep in the truck, hugging the ice and the fish.
"The fisherman entrusted me with a precious fish."

When I arrived at the market, my uncle said,
"This is a good fish! And it stays fresh. Styrofoam is amazing. Thank you!"
Styro became very happy.
"Alright! I'll work again."


The next moment...Poi!
The cleaning man threw Styrofoam in the trash.
"Eh! Why!?"

When I looked to the side, I saw a box of Styrofoam thrown away in the same way.
"Hello, I'm Tyrol. We can't recycle in this market, so we're either burned or landfilled."
Styro said.
"I don't like that...I want to see everyone happy."
“It seems that if you go to a large market where you can recycle, you can be reborn instead of being thrown away.
"Yes. Let's go!"


When I was walking around the market, I met a fat mouse.
"Shorikichi in the big market seems to be reborn."

I met Bora.
"A mullet that looks like an ingot and rides on a big ship."
I met a seagull.
“You want to go to the big market?


"It's a big market."
"Are you a good mom here?"

"Thank you Kagull!"

Inside the market was a row of styrofoam boxes.
Said the tall box inside.
"Stay in line, Shorikichi will turn you into an ingot."


A big machine appeared. Everyone is jumping into Shorikichi one after another.
"Come on! Let's jump in too!"
"Scary... I can hear the crunching sound and it looks hot."

"My stomach is very safe. Transform into an ingot and prepare for your journey."
They closed their eyes and jumped into Shorikichi's belly.

Round, round, round~~!


"Power springs up! I feel like I've become stronger than ever!"
The two became ingots.

Then, I boarded a large container ship with many ingots.

The uncle of the trading company said.
“Have a nice trip to Malaysia!”


From Japan to Malaysia is 5,000 km, a two-week trip.
"What kind of form will we be reborn in?"

Then I saw a sad-looking styrofoam floating in the sea.

​ "I wish you could have met Mr. Shorikichi, too." ! !


Lobster and sea cucumber who were looking up at the container ship are talking.

"Even in the sea, there is a lot of plastic and various garbage that humans have produced. Shrimp."

​"Sea cucumbers that need to be properly recycled"

Two weeks later, I arrived in Malaysia.
The old man at the recycling plant put Styrofoam and Tyrol into separate machines.


"Thank you Tyrol. Hope to see you again."
"Thank you. Let's be reborn and meet again."

Out of the machine, the steel became a fine picture frame.
Then I came back to Japan and found it on the interior shelf of the home center!


"This picture frame is lovely. It's very light. It's made of recycled plastic."
"I went from a fish box to a picture frame after a long, long journey."
Styro said proudly.

Styro came to a girl's house as a picture frame.

Stylus looks very happy.
Because I could see the happy faces of the mother and the girl.

Besides, what the girl was holding was Tyrol turned into a ballpoint pen.


Thus ended Styloh's 10,000km journey, a dream come true.


1) World's No. 1 Styrofoam Ingot Recycling "J-EPS Recycling"

Styrol and Tyrol travel the world. In the 1970s, a large amount of Styrofoam fish boxes were discarded at Tsukiji Market. President Shigehei Inukai of Pana Chemical Co., Ltd. saw the rising black smoke and thought of ways to reuse the discarded Styrofoam. I was. This system spread all over the country, and the world's largest recycling circle was born.


(2) Evolution of Styrofoam recycling equipment

Shorikichi transforming steel into ingots.
The Styrofoam Ingot Recycling Machine crushes Styrofoam, removes foreign matter, reduces the volume to 1/50 with heat, and molds it into ingots. From large machines to small machines, processing machines that support a variety of sites continue to evolve and are active all over Japan.


(3) Styrofoam ingot 10,000 km journey


Styro makes a long journey and is reborn as a picture frame. Styrofoam fish boxes, which are widely used in Japan, are turned into ingots by a recycling machine when used. At overseas recycling plants, they are reborn as products such as picture frames, insulation materials, and speaker parts, and travel around the world, with some returning to Japan.


(4) "People's circle" that supports the system

Working uncles will appear on Stilo's journey.
"J-EPS recycling" involves thousands of people, including those who make ingots with processors, those who buy ingots, those who transport them, those who design processors, and those who recycle overseas. “People-to-people circles” support “J-EPS recycling”.


(5) Japan's export resources "J-EPS recycling"


A lot of Styrofoam, including Styrofoam, travels the world and is reborn into various products. “J-EPS recycling” has recycled about 1.5 million tons in 45 years. Ingots are exported all over the world as raw materials for plastics, and it can be said that this is Japan's proud export of plastic resources.


(6) Future of "J-EPS recycling"


Recycling of Styrofoam is not progressing in the world. In order to reduce the amount of garbage that flows into the ocean, it is necessary to convey the technology and mechanism of "J-EPS recycling" to the world. For this reason, the J-EPS Recycling Association is disseminating information overseas. In 10 years from now, I hope that this system, which originated in Japan, will be used all over the world.

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