TOKYO, March 31, 2021 — Kao Corporation will, for the first time in Japan next month, use 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic for its packaging.* It will be used for its new range of Attack ZERO laundry detergent products, and it's CuCute Dishwashing Foam Spray bottles. Kao intends to switch over to using 100% recycled PET for our household and personal care packaging using PET bottles by 2025. Kao already uses 100% recycled plastic for its shampoo, conditioner, and body wash packaging in Taiwan, and 50% for Jergens body wash in the Americas and Guhl shampoo in Europe.
Plastic is widely used for packaging because it keeps content fresh and makes the transportation of products more efficient. Recently, however, plastic waste poses a significant problem for society. In response, Kao is adopting an ESG-driven perspective right from the initial product design stage.
In 2018, Kao announced its "Our Philosophy & Action on Plastic Packaging" declaration, and are abiding by the 4Rs: Reduce, Replace, Reuse, Recycle. We are substantially reducing the amount of plastic used in our packaging, by making them thinner, reusable, refillable, and reduced in volume, as well as improving our liquid concentration. We are also developing packaging that is easier to recycle. Plus, we will make efforts to switch away from fossil fuel-based plastics toward the use of sustainable materials.
This initiative will help fulfill Kao's vision of achieving Zero Waste in society. We believe that using recycled plastic for packaging will ensure plastic resource circulation can take place in Japan.
These initiatives support Kao's purpose of creating a Kirei life for all. The Japanese word 'kirei' describes something that is both clean and beautiful. For Kao, Kirei not only encapsulates appearance, but also attitude—to create beauty for oneself, other people, and for the world around us. Kao Group's ESG strategy—the Kirei Lifestyle Plan—aims to integrate ESG as the foundation of its management to accelerate business growth and create products and services of better value for consumers and society.
● "Air in Film Bottle" technology innovates packaging
New shampoo and conditioner products from the MyKirei by Kao brand were launched in the U.S. in April 2020 and are the first to feature "Air in Film Bottle" technology, which uses around half the amount of plastic pump-type bottles use. This innovation allows air to fill and expand the outer portion of film package, enabling it to stand upright and be used as an original package.
To learn more about this technology, please visit:
● "Raku-raku Switch" helps save on plastic use
Launched in Japan in September 2020, Bioré u The Body—Body Lotion for Wet Skin is the first product to use Kao's new "Raku-raku Switch," which uses around 50% less plastic than conventional pump bottles. This device attaches to a refill pack made of plastic film, and allows liquid to be dispensed directly from the package.
For more information about "Raku-raku Switch," go to:
● Participating in a recycling project of single-use plastic
Since September 2020, Kao has been engaged in a plastic recycling project launched by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. The project involves cross-industry cooperation with other business enterprises and NPOs, with the aim of realizing a recycling system that turns the majority of packaging back into a similar product as the original.
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● Collaboration with Lion on recycling initiatives
In September 2020, Kao announced that it would be collaborating with Lion Corporation, one of Japan's leading consumer products companies, on film packaging recycling, raising recycling awareness, and innovative recycling technologies. Since 2015, Kao has been implementing the RecyCreation upcycling project to generate new system and lifestyle solutions for the realization of plastic resource circulation in society. It is also working together with local residents and partner firms to implement field testing for used refill packs so that they can be processed into recycled plastic.
Find out more about Kao's collaboration with Lion:
● Cooperation agreement with Wakayama City to implement the SDGs
In October 2020, Kao signed a cooperation agreement with Wakayama City, in western Japan, for the implementation of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within their local community. As part of the agreement, we are conducting a survey of marine plastic waste that is washed ashore on the coast of Wakayama City. Discussions are underway regarding how to recycle this waste plastic for use in the manufacturing of tables and chairs, and for use in the production of a road strengthening agent.
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● Conducting tests with Kyoto University to recycle used diapers
In January 2021, Kao and Kyoto University began verification testing a system that recycles disposable diapers. Through this field testing, in collaboration with Saijo City, in western Japan, Kao and Kyoto University will be contributing toward reducing CO2 emissions through the conversion of used disposable diapers into carbon material.
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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 1,400 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.