Kao ramps up sustainability strategy with use of recycled PET material

By Andrew Pentol |

Kao Corporation is to use chemically recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) material for its cosmetics bottle containers.

Manufactured by PET Refine Technology Co., Ltd, which is part of Jeplan Inc, use of the PET material is in line with Kao’s initiatives to realise plastic circularity in society.

Kao Corporation will progressively introduce the material starting this month, beginning with bottles for its Twany cosmetics brand.

Moving forward, the company will promote this initiative to collect used bottles and reuse them in PET cosmetics bottles. This will enable the recycling of material from bottle container to bottle container.

Kao said: “Recently, the social trend toward reducing the burden on the environment has been strengthening. A change in consumer purchasing awareness is visible, with an increasing number of people choosing environmentally friendly products. This is true for the cosmetics industry as well.”

‘GUARANTEED QUALITY AND A STABLE SUPPLY’

The use of recycled plastic in packaging requires guaranteed quality and a stable supply, according to Kao.

Last year, Kao Corporation revealed it would prioritise “Innovation in Reduction” and “Innovation in Recycling” to achieve plastic circularity in society.

In this initiative, the aforementioned chemically recycled PET material to be used by Kao was developed using Bring Technology, a chemical recycling technology from Jeplan.

“This technology enables the recycling of containers made from PET material into material with purity equivalent to virgin PET.

“The recycled material has been recognised for its quality, including certification by the Food Safety Commission of Japan, which is part of the Cabinet Office, for use in food containers.”

Kao added: “The technology is even capable of matching the quality of virgin PET when recycling PET material with colour printing and decorations or containing residual cosmetics content, which has long been considered a challenge.

“As it becomes feasible to recycle a wide range of used PET material, including cosmetics packaging, a stable supply of recycled material can be expected.”

Kao Corporation will progressively introduce the material starting this month, beginning with bottles for its Twany cosmetics brand.

Meanwhile, Kao will continue working to expand its use of bottle containers using chemically recycled PET material. It is also considering ways to gather and reuse containers.

In April 2019, the Kao Group established its ESG strategy (the Kirei Lifestyle Plan), comprising 19 leadership and priority actions. The use of chemically recycled PET is an initiative that will contribute to its ‘zero waste’ leadership action theme.

Through the full-scale utilisation of recycled plastic for plastic packaging containers in Japan, in addition to the various approaches deployed to date, Kao is working to realise plastic circularity in society.

“The Kao Group’s duty as an enterprise offering products used in daily life is to work actively to reduce the environmental impact of its products throughout their overall lifecycle.”

PLASTIC WASTE CHALLENGE

To date, Kao has contributed to the plastic waste challenge through making plastic packaging thinner, promoting the use of refill packaging, shifting to larger containers, making products more highly concentrated and using thin-film materials as packaging.

Back in 2018, Kao also announced its ‘Our Philosophy & Action on Plastic Packaging’ which summarised its stance regarding plastic packaging.

In 2020, it also revealed it would prioritise “Innovation in Reduction” and “Innovation in Recycling” to achieve plastic circularity in society.

“In the future, the Kao Group will continue to implement its unique ESG activities globally to deliver satisfaction, enrich people’s live around the world and contribute to the sustainability of society.”

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