For the first time, a plastic materials firm has been awarded the Bluesign standard, a level of sustainable chemistry and environmental performance created for the textile industry.
Acetal resin maker Korea Engineering Plastics of Seoul, South Korea, won the Bluesign standard in April. The firm's Kepital-brand resins are used by textile makers for buttons, clips and zippers.
“It was a big investment on our side to make sure we were in compliance with Bluesign,” KEP Americas General Manager Ed Hallahan said in a July 23 phone interview. “What really drives it is the textile industry and clothing makers like Nike and North Face.
The Bluesign standard “will give us access to a broader market,” he added.
KEP “is dedicated to being a sustainable company” through its green management system, and through the continuous development of environmentally friendly processes and products, CEO Chong-Won Chin said in a news release.
The firm operates more than 300 million pounds of annual acetal capacity in Ulsan, South Korea, producing more than 200 grades of Kepital. From Ulsan, KEP exports the material to more than 100 countries worldwide. The firm also operates a U.S. sales office in Coppell, Texas.
Bluesign Technologies AG was founded in 2000 from a joint project by athletic giant Nike, materials firm Huntsman Corp. and Swiss textiles maker Schoeller Textil. Chemical products must meet strict ecological and toxicological standards to carry the Bluesign label.
In a news release, Bluesign CEO Peter Waeber said that his St. Gallen, Switzerland-based firm “appreciates the dedication of KEP to meet our high standards of quality and sustainability in their manufacturing processes.”