Mitsui Chemicals, IBM Japan, and Nomura Research, Institute Establish Pla-chain Consortium for Realizing a Recycling-Oriented Society

~Using Digital Traceability to Contribute Toward DX in Industries Dealing with Plastic Materials~


Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.
IBM Japan, Ltd.
Nomura Research Institute, Ltd.

Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. (Tokyo: 4183; President & CEO: HASHIMOTO Osamu), IBM Japan, Ltd. (Tokyo; President: YAMAGUCHI Akio) and Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. (NRI; Tokyo: 4307; Chairman, President & CEO: KONOMOTO Shingo) today announced the establishment on 30th September, 2022 of Pla-chain, a consortium led by the three companies that aims to achieve social innovation and respond to the pressing need for a recycling-oriented society.

Since August 2021, Mitsui Chemicals, IBM Japan and NRI have undertaken several rounds of deliberations focused on the establishment of a consortium for realizing a recycling-oriented society. To encourage resource recycling, the consortium intends to help plan field tests using a resource circulation platform, organize study group sessions involving multiple companies and share information about insights gained via the consortium. Pla-chain will also pursue open engagement with other groups.

Further details are provided below.


  1. Promote the use of recycled plastic materials based on traceability.
  2. Encourage collaboration and support among stakeholders involved in resource recycling.
  3. Consider the ideal shape of societies and systems for promoting resource recycling.


  • Providing a forum for regular discussion by the consortium’s member companies (quarterly round-table meetings are planned).
  • Discussing the ideal approach to promoting resource recycling and tackling individual issues (through subcommittees).
  • Providing information to facilitate field tests contributing to greater traceability in resource recycling. This benefit will be available only where the implementing organization is a member company.
  • Providing information about applications of resource recycling.
  • Sharing insights gained through the consortium’s activities, and disseminating information and advice to entities both inside and outside of the consortium.
Mitsui Chemicals, IBM Japan, and Nomura Research, Institute Establish Pla-chain Consortium for Realizing a Recycling-Oriented Society

Membership information

Please review the consortium’s regulations on the application form below for details regarding the conditions of membership. If you wish to join, please provide the requisite information on the application form and send it to the specified address. Please note that applications will go through a screening process before acceptance. Should you require clarification on any points, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

  • It is envisaged that members will belong to a corporation or nonprofit organization and be able to contribute to building a recycling-oriented society by publicizing, as widely as permissible, insights and information gained through the consortium’s study group sessions and field demonstration activities.
  • Membership is expected to be free of charge, as a general rule.
  • We will provide information in a separate e-mail to those who have previously participated in webinars about this topic.

Application form:

Comments from each company

SAMBE Masao, Managing Executive Officer, Digital Transformation Sector, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.

“In April 2022, Mitsui Chemicals launched the BePLAYER™ and RePLAYER™ brands for biomass and recycling solutions.*1 Under RePLAYER™, we will rethink the way we handle plastic waste and other waste products and reuse them as resources. This consortium will use the RePLAYER™ Blockchain Platform for plastic resource circulation to resolve the challenges associated with recycling plastics. In addition, we will establish intersectoral partnerships with consortium members in an effort to contribute to realizing a recycling-oriented society.”

*1Special website:

SHIBATA Yuichiro, Managing Partner, Strategic Sales, IBM Consulting, IBM Japan

“IBM Japan is leveraging cutting-edge technologies – including not only blockchain, but also the likes of the hybrid cloud and AI – as we pursue Good Tech worldwide to create a better world. Aiming to develop a commercially viable traceability*2 system for plastic materials, we began working with Mitsui Chemicals in April of last year to build a resource circulation platform that harnesses blockchain*3 technology. Now through the consortium, we aim to realize a sustainable society in partnership with Mitsui Chemicals, NRI and consortium members by providing technological support for member efforts to resolve social issues and pursue co-creation in the resource circulation arena. In doing so, we will tap into the achievements, insights and skills IBM has gained from working on digital transformation with companies in a diverse array of sectors.”

MORISAWA Ichiro, Senior Managing Director and Division Manager, Consulting Division, NRI

“We are delighted to have established this consortium. NRI aims to solve social challenges through co-creation with a diverse range of partners. This consortium will feature Mitsui Chemicals, a key stakeholder for a recycling-oriented society, and IBM, a company that retains vital technologies for achieving our goal. We also welcome more partners to join in and engage in co-creation. NRI will help realize a recycling-oriented society by making full use of its strengths in navigating society and companies toward transformation and in solving issues. We are looking forward to undertaking activities aimed at resource recycling through this consortium, in partnership with a variety of participants.”

Going forward, Mitsui Chemicals, IBM Japan and NRI will continue to utilize their individual strengths and engage in collaborative efforts to realize a society that circulates plastics and other materials.

*2Traceability in materials covers the whole resource life cycle. This life cycle covers raw materials like monomers and polymers through to the manufacturing, sales and use of products. It also covers the recycling process thereafter, in which used products are recovered, dismantled, shredded and sorted into raw materials that can be reused to manufacture new products.

*3Blockchain technology is a form of immutable database technology that records all historical information in a continuous chain. Since all parties involved have access and there is no potential for data falsification, the technology achieves traceability by allowing all parties to follow up and see where, when and from whom various raw materials, products and more were acquired.

*4IBM, the IBM logo, and IBM Cloud are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp. registered in many countries worldwide. Other product and service names may be the respective trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at

For further details, please refer to the previous joint news release dated August 17, 2021.