How does KANEKA Biodegradable Polymer PHBH make the world healthy?

KANEKA Biodegradable Polymer
100% plant-derived polymers
that are biodegradable even in seawater.

To protect the global environment for future generations,
PHBH will help make the world healthy by resolving the issue of marine micro-plastic.

KANEKA Biodegradable Polymer PHBH

What Kaneka can do to protect the limited nature

  1. 01

    The Key to

    The Key to Biodegradation

    Making it possible
    to achieve biodegradable
    properties in seawater

  2. 01

    Development StoryHOW

    Development Story

    First company to successfully
    mass-produce PHBH

  3. 01

    Widespread UsesFUTURE

    Widespread uses

    PHBH can be processed for
    use in various applications.

The Key to Biodegradation

PHBH is produced by a microorganism fermentation process in which plant oils are used as primary raw materials.
It is eventually decomposed into CO2 and H2O through the digestive process of microorganisms existing in the environment.
Kaneka achieved excellent biodegradability not only in soil, but also in seawater, which had been a difficult challenge.

Obtained “OK Biodegradable Marine” certification*The certification is applied to certain grades.
Lifecycle of PHBH
Lifecycle of PHBH
海水中での分解過程 左から)分解前?24日後?61日後?88日後
Biodegradation behavior in seawater
From left:
Before biodegradation, after 24 days, after 61 days, after 88 days *Results are based on internal data and do not guarantee degradation in seawater.

Development Story

PHBH that has accumulated in the body of micro-organisms
PHBH that has accumulated
in the body of micro-organisms
Fermenters for mass production
Fermenters for mass production

Kaneka began developing PHBH during the early 1990s. At the time, pollution of the world's oceans with micro-plastic was not gaining global recognition as an environmental issue, prompting us to launch the project out of a desire to provide an environmentally friendly solution that was not dependent on oil resources.
As Kaneka's researchers were visiting various sites around the world as part of their search for microorganisms that could be used to create a polymer, they found a microbe that could create PHBH right at home, in soil at the Takasago Manufacturing Site! However, the newly discovered microorganism could only be used to create small quantities of PHBH. Even if a microorganism suitable for use in mass-producing PHBH could be developed, they were still facing significant difficulties to put it into practical use.

The company eventually became the first in the world to industrialize PHBH through a series of trial and error attempts that brought together the proprietary polymer technology and biotechnology that Kaneka has developed over many years.
Today, we're working to ramp up production to commercial levels.

Widespread Uses

PHBH can be processed for use in various applications,
from straws, shopping bags, cutlery and food packaging.
Going forward, we will accelerate the development of various applications.

PHBH listed in the Plastic Implement Measure of the European Commission for all food types

Example collaborative development projects

  • Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Ltd.
    Straws made of PHBH from Kaneka at “SEVEN CAFé”
    Straws made of PHBH at “SEVEN CAFé”

    Straws made of PHBH are used for “SEVEN CAFé” run by Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Ltd.

  • Shiseido Company, Limited

    In April 2019, we launched a collaborative project to develop cosmetics containers made of PHBH.

What Kaneka can do
for the future

Plastic is a convenient and essential part of our daily lives,
but it often ends up in the oceans due to a failure to process it properly,
leading to adverse impacts on ecosystems and human health.
We believe that worldwide use of products made of PHBH which is biodegradable in seawater,
will help safeguard the Earth's environment by resolving the problem of micro-plastic pollution
in the world's oceans.

Kaneka will help make the world a healthier place through the power of PHBH.

Contact us about PHBH

Green Planet Project, Kaneka Corporation

Related Videos

TV Commercial broadcasted in Japan since 2018

PHBH is also featured as part of Japan's innovative technologies to address global issues by the Japanese government.

“KANEKA Biodegradable Polymer” and “PHBH” are registered trademarks of Kaneka Corporation.