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2019/05/17

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  • Sustainability

Kao's RecyCreation Project Gives Back in Kamakura, Japan

Changing the Common Practice of Throwing It Away after Use

Kao Corporation is offering new systems and fun and creative experiences for consumers through RecyCreation*1 to create circularity in society. One specific project is working with local communities and partner companies to collect used detergent, shampoo, and other refill packs, and then processing them into recycled resin for other uses.
Kao has been collecting used film type refill packs in Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture, since 2016. The collected packs are then reprocessed into blocks called "Okaeri-blocks*2 " that are put to use in the local community. A bench made of these blocks was installed in the waiting room of Enoshima Electric Railway's Enoshima Station, with a ceremony to commemorate the donation held on April 25.

  • * 1 A combination of the words recycle and creation, RecyCreation upcycles items through fun experiences to create new value, rather than recycling materials for the purpose of reproducing the same types of materials, with the goal of changing the habit of "use and throw away."
  • * 2 In Japanese, okaeri means "welcome back," and is the greeting a family member or loved one receives when they come back home. The name "Okaeri-block" conveys Kao's desire to give back to society and the local community the good intentions of everyone who helped collect the used packs.

Bench donated to Enoshima Station

Kao Corporation released the "Kao Environmental Statement" in 2009, in which the company states its commitment to reduce its environmental impact at every level of business activities, to promote environmental conservation, and to build a sustainable society. In reducing the environmental footprint caused by product packaging, Kao takes the "4R approach," with "reduce" as its base principle and adding "replace," with the objective of switching raw materials to more sustainable choices, to "reuse" and "recycle."
Using the new approach of RecyCreation since 2015, Kao has undertaken research to establish a new resource circulation system for packaging and has started projects to validate its value together with local communities and partner companies. In 2018, Kao established "Our Philosophy and Action on Plastic Packaging," which presents its commitment to efforts like this to reduce plastic resource use. In April 2019, Kao also announced its ESG strategy, called the "Kirei Lifestyle Plan."
Kao will continue to create new possibilities for RecyCreation, extending the circle of co-creation while building trust and support with various communities and stakeholders.

How refill packs are recycled into blocks

RecyCreation in Kamakura

Kao has been conducting RecyCreation activities in Kamakura City since 2016. With cooperation from Kanagawa Girl Scout Troop No. 3, Kao collected used refill packs and, using blocks made from the refill packs, held a workshop on the theme of "Let's imagine the future Kamakura."

Kao began a new project in 2017 with the partners Kamacon, an NPO based in Kamakura, and KAYAC Inc. in addition to Kamakura City. With the cooperation of residents, schools, government agencies and partner companies, the project collected 41,025 refill packs from October 2017 to May 2018. It then created a full-scale Enoshima Electric Railway train car and a bench designed with the character "Ochibisan," which is associated with Kamakura.
Afterward, the blocks used to make the train car were modified into practical shapes for daily use in the city. They are now being used at elementary and junior high schools, in train stations and other public places. The bench that has been installed at Enoshima Station also uses these blocks.

The project continues to collect refill packs in Kamakura. Collection boxes have been set up at 25 municipal elementary and junior high schools, six public child care centers and three other places including Kamakura Station of Enoshima Electric Railway for a total of 34 collection boxes. With the cooperation of many partners, Kao will continue contributing to improving recycling awareness in Kamakura City through RecyCreation activities.

Workshop with Kanagawa Girl Scout Troop No. 3 (Japanese)

Kamakura RecyCreation Project (Video production: KAYAC Inc.) (Japanese)

About Kao

Kao creates high-value-added products that enrich the lives of consumers around the world. Through its portfolio of over 20 leading brands such as Attack, Bioré, Goldwell, Jergens, John Frieda, Kanebo, Laurier, Merries and Molton Brown, Kao is part of the everyday lives of people in Asia, Oceania, North America and Europe. Combined with its chemical division, which contributes to a wide range of industries, Kao generates about 1,500 billion yen in annual sales. Kao employs about 33,000 people worldwide and has 130 years of history in innovation. Please visit the Kao Group website for updated information.

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Corporate Communications
Kao Corporation

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