Japan Startup That Turns Stone Into Grocery Bags Gets Green Loan

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A Japanese startup that makes plastic and paper alternatives from limestone has got a green loan as it pushes to expand production.

Japan Startup That Turns Stone Into Grocery Bags Gets Green Loan

TBM Co., based in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district, has secured 3.62 billion yen ($33 million) of financing with its first long-term loans, according to a document seen by Bloomberg News. It will use the funds for its new plant which is set to open this month.

A spokesperson at the company declined to comment.

The startup makes products from bags to business cards out of limestone, a resource it has said is “almost inexhaustible”. The company is headed by Nobuyoshi Yamasaki, a former car salesman who left school at 15 and became a carpenter before developing its ‘Limex’ technology.

The planned new factory is located in Tagajo city, northeastern Japan, close to where an earthquake and tsunami in 2011 claimed thousands of lives. TBM was founded the same year as the disaster, and intends to expand employment in that region.

Japan Credit Rating Agency is giving its highest environmental ranking of Green 1 to TBM’s 2.4 billion yen in syndicated loans arranged by Nanto Bank Ltd., according to the document. It also raised a combined 1.22 billion yen in capital loans from two government-affiliated financial institutions.

In May 2019, Yamasaki said the company planned an initial public offering in 2021. Companies including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Japan’s biggest advertising agency, Dentsu, have already invested in the firm.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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