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Yearly Results and Future Plans for Kao's Participation in Kobe Plastic Next: Joining Forces to Recycle Refill Packs, a Project Aimed at Horizontal Recycling

On October 1, 2021, Kao Corporation began participating in Kobe Plastic Next: Joining Forces to Recycle Refill Packs. In this project, retailers, consumer products manufacturers and recyclers (resource recycling business operators) collaborate with the city of Kobe to recycle used refill packs of household and personal care items, aiming to achieve circularity in society. This news release details the project's results of the first year and future plans.

Kobe Plastic Next: Joining Forces to Recycle Refill Packs logo

In this project, the city of Kobe and multiple companies engaged in manufacturing, sales, collection and recycling cross the boundaries of competition, collaborate to separate and collect used refill packs for household and personal care items, such as detergents and shampoos, and strive to achieve horizontal recycling, in which collected refill packs are recycled and manufactured into new refill packs. Currently, collection boxes are placed at 76 retail outlets and three facilities in Kobe City.

One Year Results

  • Collected 1,130.8 kilograms of refill packs in the year from October 2021 to September 2022
  • Collection volume steadily increased. Collected items were washed clean and put in collection boxes. The amount of foreign matter was low, around 5% every month.
  • Held technical examination meetings for horizontal recycling and quality confirmation meetings for collected refill packs
  • Established four working discussion and examination groups (technical examination, expansion of use of collected refill packs, future, expansion of awareness)

Future Plans

  • Strive to promote collection understanding and aim for stable collection of five tons per year
  • Launch a column series on participating companies on the Kobe Plastic Next website to expand awareness
  • Renew posters displayed at retail outlets with collection boxes, calling for understanding and cooperation with collection
  • Currently developing technology to make garbage bags from collected refill packs. Raise awareness of recycling by using them for cleanup activities in Kobe City
  • Examine the utilization of refill packs in ways other than horizontal recycling
  • Accumulate and systematize information and knowledge on horizontal recycling and extract issues

In April 2019, the Kao Group established the Kirei Lifestyle Plan, an ESG strategy. Since its start in 2021, the Kao Group Mid-term Plan 2025 (K25) has proclaimed "protecting future lives" and promoting "sustainability as the only path" as its vision. One of the plan's leadership actions is to contribute to "zero waste." The Kao Group will continue to integrate its ESG strategy into its management practices. It will also develop its business, provide better products and services for consumers and society, and work toward its purpose, "to realize a Kirei world in which all life lives in harmony."

  • * This news release is a translation of a Japanese-language news release dated November 9, 2022.

About the Kirei Lifestyle Plan

Over the past 130 years, Kao has worked to improve people's lives and help them realize more sustainable lifestyles—a Kirei Lifestyle. The Japanese word 'kirei' describes something that is clean, well-ordered and beautiful, all at the same time. The Kao Group established its ESG strategy, the Kirei Lifestyle Plan in April 2019, which is designed to deliver the vision of a gentler and more sustainable way of living. By 2030, Kao aims to empower at least 1 billion people, to enjoy more beautiful lives and have 100% of its products leave a full lifecycle environmental footprint that science says our natural world can safely absorb.
For more information please, click the Kao Group sustainability website.

About Kao

Kao creates high-value-added products and services that provide care and enrichment for the life of all people and the planet. 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 business, which contributes to a wide range of industries, Kao generates about 1,420 billion yen in annual sales. Kao employs about 33,500 people worldwide and has 135 years of history in innovation. Please visit the Kao Group website for updated information.

Media inquiries should be directed to:

Corporate Strategy
Kao Corporation

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