Gunze Launches Eco-friendly “GEOPLAS® HCT3” Heat-shrinkable Film with 30% Recycled Raw Material Worldwide

OSAKA, Japan–()–Gunze Limited (Headquarters: Osaka, Japan, President: Toshiyasu Saguchi) [Tokyo:3002] is pleased to announce that the company will launch an eco-friendly “GEOPLAS® HCT3” heat-shrinkable film with recycled resin on January 2023. The product is a polystyrene/polyethylene terephthalate multi-layered product that uses 30% of chemical recycled raw materials with the mass balance approach. The new product will first be launched in Japan and then expanded to the U.S. and ASEAN markets. This is the first of a series of recycled heat-shrinkable films that reduce the use of petroleum-derived raw materials and focusing on expanding into global markets.

*“GEOPLAS® HCT3” is a brand name in Japan market.

The movement away from plastics is accelerating in all the countries around the world. After the enforcement of the “Law for Recycling Plastic Materials” in Japan in April 2022, companies and local governments are required to promote resource recycling in all processes of plastic products, from design to manufacturing and reuse.

The company has established “Promoting a basic policy towards a recycling system for plastics” and evolved a strategy of “Conversion to recycled and bio-attributed raw materials” in December 2019 and declared that 50% of the raw materials used by the plastics business would be recycled and biomass by 2027 and increase the ratio to 100% by 2030.

Gunze has achieved excellent shrinkage performance and stiffness by adding functions through multilayer technology of different materials and has promoted eco-friendly management by reducing the thickness of hybrid shrink film.

The company will strengthen its efforts to realize sustainable economy by using recycled raw materials for the hybrid shrinkable film which is one of the main products in plastic business. And the launch of the new product is one of the efforts to reduce petroleum materials usage and GHG emissions.

In addition, our core plant, Moriyama plant, will change into a circular factory and to the factory with zero emissions that does not produce plastic waste materials by 2024. In this process, the company will collect own multilayered products and establish its separation and recycling technologies. And then commercialize the products with 100% recyclable raw materials.

The company will launch the shrinkable film with 30% recycled material this time and aim to increase the ratio to 50% by 2024 and the ratio to 100% by 2030.

The product is a polystyrene/polyethylene terephthalate multi-layered product using our unique multilayer oriented film technology. It is widely used globally as shrink labels for PET bottled beverages, foods, cosmetics, home & personal care products and other products. The product has both polystyrene and polyethylene terephthalate benefits such as excellent shrink appearance, perforation suitability, heat resistance, content resistance and stiffness.

The mass balancing approach is when a raw material with certain features (e.g., chemical recycled raw material) is mixed with a raw material that does not have certain features (e.g., petroleum-derived raw material) during processing and distribution from raw materials to products. It distributes the raw material with specific features to a part of the product according to the input amount of the raw materials with the specific features. The mass balance approach-based products require a third-party certification to avoid arbitrary decisions by companies.

Detailed description of the mass balance method:

Product Outline

Product name





Thickness 35 micron (Can be used with automatic shrink sleeve label application machines)



Achieving the same shrink appearance as petroleum-derived products as well as reducing environmental impact



Labels for beverages, groceries, home & personal care products

Sales plan


Aim to sell 250MT in the first year (FY2023)

Sales base


Japan, USA, Vietnam

Sample shipments to the Japanese market will begin in January 2023. After that, the company plans to establish a product shipment system in March, obtain third-party certification in June, and start sales of products with certificates. Overseas subsidiaries in the U.S. and Vietnam are scheduled to launch in June 2023.

About Gunze

Gunze was founded in Kyoto, Japan in 1896, and today operates a diverse business as a leading developer and manufacturer of Plastic Films, Engineering Plastics, Electronic Components, Medical Devices, Apparel, and various other segments. Gunze employs more than 5,600 people worldwide throughout 10 countries.

The Plastic Films business, established in 1962, has a substantial footprint over 20 countries. It has three manufacturing facilities in Japan, and subsidiaries in the U.S., Vietnam and China. Gunze’s mission will continue to be centered on advancing the quality of life by providing innovative products and solutions.

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