Japan Partnership for Circular Economy

Japan Partnership for Circular Economy


Development and use of new sustainable material: cellulose fiber composition material

[Company / organization] Panasonic Corporation

Cellulose fiber can be derived from various natural resources, such as wood residues from forest thinning, and other organic wastes, and it is now drawing attention as a resource with low environmental impact. In fiscal 2019, Panasonic developed a composite polypropylene (PP) resin containing plant-derived cellulose fiber as an additive.

In fiscal 2019, we developed a molding material mixed with plant-derived cellulose fiber. This new eco-conscious cellulose fiber molding material is used in the frame parts of the Panasonic cordless stick-type vacuum cleaner, and contributes to its reduced weight, one of the most important features of the product. In fiscal 2020, the content of the cellulose fiber could even be increased to more than 55% while maintaining the whiteness of the material thanks to our special processing technology. Using this technology, we also developed the reusable cup, Forest Tumbler, together with Asahi Breweries, Ltd. The cup won the FY2020 Environment Minister's Award for Promotion of a Recycling-Based Society, hosted by the Ministry of the Environment, in recognition both of its advanced technology, which utilizes more than 55% natural plant-derived resources, and its innovative value.

In fiscal 2021, we further advanced the technology to increase the amount of cellulose fiber, and established a process that enables 70% cellulose fiber composition, along with a technology that can smoothly mold the material into products. These technologies increase the plasticity of the material despite the high content of cellulose fiber, enabling product designs intended to feature the natural feel of the material. (The product received the MEXT Minister’s Prize under the FY2021 50th

Japan Industrial Grand Prize held by Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Ltd.)

Reference [Only Japanese]

> Launched two new “POWER CORDLESS" stick vacuum cleaners


> Developed a high-density cellulose fiber molding material which has flexibility in design


> Renewed an environment-friendly reusable cup, Forest Tumbler


> Developed 70% high density cellulose fiber composition materials