Mitsui & Co. Plastics buys 10% share in Taiwan biodegradable plastic maker Minima

29, Aug. 2019

TAIPEI, NNA - Japan’s Mitsui & Co. Plastics Ltd. has bought a 10-percent stake in Minima Technology Co., a Taiwan manufacturer of biodegradable plastic products, amid growing demand for a swift solution to the global problem of plastic waste.

In its first investment in a Taiwan enterprise, the Mitsui & Co. Group firm, which trades in plastic materials and products as well as industrial chemicals, has acquired the shares for 120 million New Taiwan dollars ($3.8 million) to become the second-largest shareholder of Minima Technology, according to a spokeswoman for the Tokyo-based company.

“We have taken note of Minima Technology’s expertise amid the rise in environmental consciousness and continued discussions toward our investment in Minima since last year,” she said. With the aim of expanding its distribution of biodegradable plastics, Mitsui & Co. Plastics has been negotiating deals to provide Japanese plastic molding and other firms with plastic materials, she added. It will also meet overseas demand outside Japan through the overseas bases of general trading house Mitsui & Co. and other channels.

At a ceremony marking the signing of the share acquisition in Taichung City on Monday, Mitsui & Co. Plastics President and CEO Katsunori Mori said, “Plastic waste is a pressing problem of global concern at the moment,” according to Taiwan media including the Economic Daily News. “Biodegradable plastic products of Minima Technology will be an important solution.”

Minima Technology was founded in 2000, 19 percent owned by Formosa Plastics Corp. as its primary shareholder. It manufactures biodegradable plastic materials as well as plastic cups and straws for drinks, tableware and other products. Deposited in compost after use, these products will be dissolved by microorganisms into water and carbon dioxide in 60-90 days, Minima Technology says. They are sold mainly in European and U.S. markets at present, with U.S. coffee chains among their major clients.

Minima Technology is building a new plant on a plot of about 17,000 square meters in the Central Taiwan Science Park in Taichung. The plant is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year and boost the company’s annual output of plastic material pellets from 4,000 tons to 20,000 tons.

Minima Technology CEO Huang Chien-Ming said his company’s annual sales would “exceed NT$ 2 billion within three years.” The company chalked up NT$210 million in sales in 2018.