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RheTech, Eco Bio Plastics Partner For Reinforced Plastics

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WHITMORE LAKE (WWJ) – RheTech Inc. of Whitmore Lake and Eco Bio Plastics Midland Inc. of Midland Monday announced a strategic alliance to use Eco Bio’s patent-protected technology that incorporates ground paper as a reinforcement in plastics.

RheTech is a thermoplastics compounder supplying the transportation, construction, electronics and consumer markets.

The ground paper results in an environmentally friendly bio-plastic that reduces the use of fossil-based materials and carbon dioxide emissions. It also helps reduce component part weight, while providing excellent durability and performance for a variety of applications ranging from automotive to consumer goods.

The new bio-composite technology, developed by Eco Research Institute Ltd. of Japan, the parent company of EBPM, involves dry-grinding paper and pulp into micro-sized powder. The powder can then be used as a reinforcement in polypropylene and other plastics.

Said Jim Preston, vice president of strategic growth for RheTech: “All of our customers are looking for ways to meet stricter environmental standards in the products they make and RheTech continues to provide a broad range of composite solutions that meet those needs.”

Added EBPM product and marketing manager Fukuji Saotome: “Though we are well established in Japan and have grown to be a $100 million company in 15 years, we are new in North America. This strategic alliance brings together a well-respected and well-established industry leader, RheTech, and an environmentally driven and unique technology-based company, ERI-EBPM, to market our bio-plastic composites in North America. I expect a well-coordinated marketing and sales effort between us will allow us to create a win-win situation not only for us, but for our customers,”

The new paper-plastic composite will be marketed under RheTech’s RheVision bio-composite business unit and EBPM’s Mapka brand. Production will take place at RheTech’s Whitmore Lake plant.

Eco Research Institute Ltd. of Japan has developed a patented dry-grinding technology to micro-grind pulp, paper and other cellulosic fiber materials down to sub-20 micron particles, which may be used as a reinforcer and/or filler in conventional plastics to cater to a wide range of markets looking to reduce their reliance on an unsustainable supply of material with a bio-based, sustainable supply of material. EBPM’s capability may allow a “closed-loop recycling of paper materials” to further reduce sustainability issues.

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