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0612_BBC sustainability topics

The Refill Revolution: Kao’s efforts and innovations on plastic reduction featured in film series by Cosmetics Europe and BBC StoryWorks  

Kao has partnered with Cosmetics Europe for the BBC StoryWorks film series “Essentials For Daily Life”, which takes a look at how the cosmetics sector is enhancing people’s lives, supporting the planet and improving products. With its longstanding focus on environmentally friendly product innovation, Kao is one of 16 companies and associations of the cosmetics and personal care sector that are featured in the series, which launched today at https://essentialsfordailylife.cosmeticseurope.eu/. The documentary “The Refill Revolution” shows how Kao has revolutionized the Japanese household and personal care market with its unique refill packs that have reduced the amount of plastic used in these categories by more than 70% versus a do-nothing scenario.  

“To achieve true change it’s not going to be one company or one government, it’s going to take all of us working together”, says Dave Muenz, Senior Vice President ESG at Kao in the series’ film “The Refill Revolution”, underlining the importance of collaboration in the field of sustainability. The short documentary as part of the cross-company project shows how Kao has been supporting consumers in leading a more sustainable life for nearly 30 years. In 1991, Kao introduced a refill packaging system that serves both the environment as well as the consumer through its unique product design: The refill pouches are produced with a thin plastic film that significantly reduces the amount of plastic needed and enables consumers to use up even the last drop of product. “We have been able to convert 80% of all packages purchased in the household and personal care categories here in Japan to these thin film refillable packages”, Dave Muenz points out. “That has resulted in a 74% reduction in the sheer amount of plastic that is used in those categories”.
Kao’s efforts and innovation on plastic reduction are part of its overall ESG strategy, called “The Kirei Lifestyle Plan”, built around the Japanese word “kirei” which means beautiful or clean, not only on the outside but also on the inside. It describes the value Kao aims to bring to everyday life with its brands, products and services. The Kirei Lifestyle Plan outlines the company’s commitments and actions in the fields of Environment, Social and Governance.

Kao is striving to constantly evolve its packaging solutions to increase recyclability without compromising on quality. The company's actions on packaging are driven by a 4R approach based on continuous improvement and innovation: reducing the amount of plastic used, replacing plastic with recycled plastic or other material where possible, enabling consumers to reuse their packaging and increasing the amount of plastic that is recyclable by consumers. 

For more information visit: https://www.kao.com/emea/en/sustainability/

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