Tokyo — Asahi Kasei's Fibers & Textiles business units has developed what it claims is "the world’s first recycled elastic polyurethane filament (spandex) product, as well as an environmentally friendly spandex product featuring low oil content."
Designated Roica EF, the material which uses post fibre-production waste was produced in Germany in July 2015. Material containing 50 percent recycled content has been supplied to a number of European apparel makers. The firm will start production in Japan on 1 May, the company said and it will be supplied to a similar customer group, Asahi Kasei added.
The firm continued that spandex, which can stretch 5 to 8 times its original length, was previously considered unsuitable for recycling because of difficulty in controlling the material's decomposition temperature. However, Asahi Kasei’s original technology has made the recycling of spandex possible for the first time in the world, the firm said.
Asahi Kasei has also developed Dorlastan V550. It claims this is as an environmentally friendly spandex product featuring low oil content of 1–3 percent compared to the conventional 5–6 percent. This reduces the environmental burden of the manufacturing process in many ways, including by significantly reducing the amount of water used for in the production process; the amount of detergent needed in that process and the amount of electricity used. Dorlastan V550 has been sold in Europe since July 2015.