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2022/01/27

  • News Release
  • Sustainability

An Initiative Aimed at Realizing Material Recycling of Plastic Cosmetics Bottles

Kao Begins Field Testing of In-store Collection and Recycling of Used Bottles

Kao Corporation is aiming to achieve material recycling of cosmetics bottles that are made from plastic, and is implementing field testing aimed at recycling used cosmetics bottles that have been collected, and transforming them back into new bottles. During the period from February 1 to July 31, 2022, used cosmetics bottles will be collected at retail outlets directly run by AEON in the Kanto region of Japan that sell Twany brand products, and at COLOR STUDIO cosmetics retail outlets in AEON malls, and used for field testing of material recycling to turn used cosmetics bottles into new cosmetics bottles, utilizing the BRING TechnologyTM chemical recycling*1 technology of JEPLAN, Inc.

  • * 1 Used resources are chemically broken down into the raw materials for PET resin and recycled. This method displays excellent ability to eliminate foreign matter and impurities from the material being recycled.

Background to the Initiative

What Kao is aiming to achieve in the material recycling of plastic cosmetics bottles is to collect used cosmetics bottles and use them to manufacture recycled material that can be utilized in the production of new cosmetics bottles. Working in collaboration with JEPLAN, Kao has started work on a project to realize material recycling of used cosmetics bottles by making use of JEPLAN's chemical recycling technology.

The first stage in this project was initiated in June 2021, when Kao began using chemically recycled PET material that had been manufactured by JEPLAN Group company PET Refine Technology Co., Ltd. to make bottles for Twany brand cosmetics. It was confirmed that the recycled material could be used to manufacture beautiful packaging with an equivalent level of quality to those made from virgin PET material.

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The New Initiative

In general, cosmetics bottles feature color printing and decoration, which has been making them difficult to recycle into PET material for producing new containers. In the second stage of the project, field testing will be carried out on the use of collected used cosmetics bottles to manufacture new cosmetics bottles. Collection of used bottles will be undertaken over the period February 1 to July 31, 2022 at retail outlets directly run by AEON in the Kanto region of Japan that sell Twany brand products, and at COLOR STUDIO cosmetics retail outlets in AEON malls. Using these collected bottles, Kao will be working with JEPLAN to implement testing of material recycling that creates new cosmetics bottles from used cosmetics bottles.

Going forward, in addition to expanding the range of brands for which chemically recycled PET material is used to include other brands besides Twany, Kao also intends to increase the scale of collection. Kao aims to utilize the know-how obtained from the current field testing to achieve social implementation of the material recycling of plastic cosmetics bottles as soon as possible.

Overview of the Upcoming Bottle Collection Program

・Collection period:
February 1 to July 31, 2022

・Participating stores:
33 Twany retail outlets directly run by AEON in the Kanto region
3 COLOR STUDIO retail outlets that are also located in AEON malls

・Participating brands:
Twany, DEW, freeplus, L'EQUIL, suisai, etc.

・Bottle types:
Bottle containers made from PET material, including lotion, emulsion, and shampoo bottles.

In April 2019, the Kao Group established its ESG strategy, the Kirei Lifestyle Plan. The collection of used cosmetics bottles and field testing of chemical recycling is an initiative that will contribute to "Zero Waste," one of the Plan's leadership action themes. Through full-scale utilization of recycled plastic for plastic packaging containers in Japan, in addition to the various approaches deployed to date, Kao is working to realize plastic circularity in society.

In the future, by incorporating an ESG perspective into its management, Kao aims to further the development of its businesses while also delivering even better products and services to consumers and to society as a whole. In this way, Kao will be working toward the realization of a more prosperous and more harmonious world.

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 1,400 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.

Media inquiries should be directed to:

Corporate Strategy
Kao Corporation

+81-3-3660-7043
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