INEOS has gone into partnership with a company that has developed a unique product which could help to save the rainforest.
INEOS Compounds will be using its expertise to help increase the company’s sales of Resysta, a recyclable material made primarily from rice husks and PVC that looks and feels like wood but, unlike wood, does not splinter, crack, rot, swell or fade.
“Japanese companies have been trying to mix rice husks and polymers since the 1960s but they have never come up with a sellable product,” said Roland Stoiber, chief operations officer at Resysta International.
INEOS Compounds’ Swiss site in Sins, near Lucerne, began working with Resysta International last year.
“Since then it has become the second biggest business for us at Sins,” said Managing Director Thomas Breitwieser who is championing the project.
Resysta International was won over by INEOS’ innovative approach, its ability to think and act quickly, its hard-working ethos, its knowledge of the European market, its excellent contacts and its manufacturing capabilities.
“We had a good relationship right from the beginning and we trusted each other to work hard together to build a market that is worth billions of Euros,” said Thomas.
INEOS Compounds, one of the top manufacturers of PVC compounds in Europe, will manufacture Resysta at its plants in the UK, Switzerland and Sweden and sell it directly to INEOS’ customers. It will also sell some of the raw materials, on behalf of Resysta International, to its biggest customers who may wish
to mix the chemicals themselves.
“It is wonderful to be part of placing a brand new PVC-based product in the market,” said Thomas. “That sort of thing only happens maybe every 30 years because PVC is already the most field-tested plastic in the world. But we will be developing the product alongside Resysta International as new sales opportunities are unearthed. It has huge market potential.”
Leroy Merlin, one of the top five D-I-Y stores in France, recently named it as their product of the year.
The main ingredient of the material, which can be used in a huge range of ways in the construction and furniture industries, are rice husks which would otherwise be burned as a waste product in the Far East where it was first developed. The rice husks are then mixed with PVC components.
The trade in tropical hardwoods, such as mahogany and teak, has long been seen as a major reason for the destruction of the rainforests.
This changes all that.
“Some miracles happen and some are invented,” said Roland. “Even salt water, sun and wind, when other materials give up, Resysta carries on. This is the key innovation to what was needed to address the shrinking rainforests and the inferior quality of previous wood composite products. It has opened a new market to all PVC resin producers.”