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Case study / How to upcycle to start a Japanese company?

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Here is a brief sum up of one of our case study with a Japanese company. Initially, the company wanted to find new applications for its product, Wiithaa want a bit further in its propositions.

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Case study / How to upcycle to start a Japanese company?

  1. 1. July 2014 How to start to upcycle a Japanese company?
  2. 2. Context Methodology Research Resultat
  3. 3. Context Methodology Research Resultat
  4. 4. Region, history, culture v Some key elements Vegetables of Koka include kanpyo (cucumber for maki), carrot, eggplant, hahigana salad. Also rice, mochi, sake (10 centers of fabrication). There are also 6 main onsens in the area in the mountains and forest. Well known for the Lake Biwa and wood industry. There is an interesting moss and vegetable culture close by the lake. Reed, rice and tea culture and a reliable source of water around the factory.
  5. 5. Local, ecosystem, energy v Some key elements Industry in Koka begins around 750 (Emperor Shomu) with leather and metal. Medicine and plants were well-know in the region, and also clay work. Shigaraki pottery is very famous. Also the Tanuki (symbol of prosperity) is made in the region. The region between Kyoto and Osaka / Nagoya is a crossroad. Very active industrial region in Japan. Today, the petrochimical (36%) and pharmaceutical industry are dominant. Automobile and electronics are other industries present in the area.
  6. 6. Context about the company Factory Raw material Granule Plastic traitment Product $ Clients Oil Y Orders are decreasing because of more efficient and competitive new products, therefore the company is looking at diversifying and releasing its own product. In the same time, oil price is regularly increasing.
  7. 7. What’s the product? PP or PE. Based on oil. The company can make some mix with recycled plastics but the results are not good enough. A drying room would be needed to use more biomass plastic to remove the water drops and to avoid moss. Machine PlaRain The heated plastic is turned into liquid with an extruder. The liquid (or plastic rain) falls into a waterpool underneath. The effect is an irregular plastic mesh that is used as filter. The irregular shape of the material collects bacteria inside the material. It acts as a great filter.
  8. 8. Main observations • The material can be mixed with recycled plastic. • It is an excellent filter and shock absorber. • It is sensitive to UV depending on the thickness of the product and it is sensitive to heat as well (around 60°C). • Quality of the recycled material is bad and can deteriorate the machine. • It can absorb repetitive shocks and get back to its initial form. • Micro organisms grow in the water, they eat waste and water is purified.
  9. 9. Context Methodology Research Resultat
  10. 10. Methodology > Search and investigations about the company, its region, product and factory > Document and photo analysis > Interviews with the company > Tests and prototyping
  11. 11. Context Methodology Research Resultat
  12. 12. Research & tests
  13. 13. Which fonctions ? With Biodegradable plastic Shock absorber in packagings In matress Interior Decoration Air plant support Mattress Green walls Green sculptures Urban gardens Horticulture Gardening Help rooting with bioplastic Green walls Roof gardens Filter Potential functions for the product Help rooting with bioplastic
  14. 14. The need to focus on bioplastic As the oil price is growing, we insist on looking for different kind of plastics. The company’s ecosystem is interesting and offers several opportunities to use less and less oil, and finally avoid it. These opportunities offers different advantages : > the raw material is cheaper > the raw material comes from companies waste close to the factory > the plastic from biomaterial is much less toxic than traditionnal ones
  15. 15. Produce bioplastic Plastic made from tea : tests by the company Cleaning properties of tea (good for interior design especially thanks to catechine) Plastic made from algae Largely available plastic & algae culture in Japan Plastic made from reed (available near Lake Biwa) This plastic is patented in France (Biomiscanthus) Other materials With algae With reeds With tea
  16. 16. Context Methodology Research New application propositions
  17. 17. ? Interior decoration Interior Decoration Air plant support Mattress Green walls Green sculptures
  18. 18. Interior decoration Interior Decoration Air plant support Mattress Green walls Green sculptures
  19. 19. Interior decoration
  20. 20. Application / Game for children Interior Decoration Air plant support Mattress Green walls Green sculptures PlaRain is a great shock absorber, we believe it could be perfect for children to play with it.
  21. 21. 2nd application / Game for children It could become a nice mattress for a nap. When the child wake up, he can easily play with the animals that formed his temporary bed. The squared design has 12 animals and do not lose any PlaRain production.
  22. 22. 2nd application / Game for children For B2B clients like nurseries, it could be interesting to propose them a leasing offer. The company would be able to reuse all the plastic initially produced to lower its production cost and have regular clients. Factory Transport Mattrass Recycling propositions Customers
  23. 23. Urban gardening Urban gardens Horticulture Gardening Help rooting with bioplastic Green walls Roof gardens Filter
  24. 24. Roof gardens : a growing market in main Japanese cities Since 2000 and the Tokyo experience, the number of roof gardens is growing in Japan. As roof gardens enable to solve many problems like the city climate, city air contamination, isolation for buildings, many japanese cities encourage now to create roof gardens. Fukuoka City
  25. 25. Urban gardens Plants Substrat Filter membrane Drainage Waterproof/root repellant Thermal insulation Vapor control Roof Usually, drainage is often done with stones, which is very heavy and not convenient to set up. The material could filter the water plants do not need. It is less heavy and easier to set up.
  26. 26. Together, let’s transform your waste in new opportunities Brieuc Saffré brieuc@wiithaa.com +33 6 43 44 14 58 design + circular economy Nicolas Buttin nicolas@wiithaa.com +33 6 64 13 44 32 w w w . w i i t h a a . c o m

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