P&G, Lion join Tokyo, Japan, demonstration project for recycling bottles of personal and home care products that Unilever, Kao, metro government launched in June 2021; program collects bottles via installed boxes, converts bottles to virgin-quality resin

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TOKYO , January 17, 2022 (press release) –

Selected as a demonstration project by Tokyo for "2021 Innovative Technology and Business Model Promotion Project"

"Collaborative Plastic Recycling Program," which is intended to recycle bottles of personal and home care products, was selected as a collaborative demonstration project for "2021 Innovative Technology and Business Model Promotion Project" organized by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (Tokyo). The initiative will be pursued by four companies, namely Unilever Japan, Kao Corporation, P&G Japan G.K., and Lion Corporation.

"Collaborative Plastic Recycling Program" was launched in Higashi-Yamato City, Tokyo, in June 2021 as a joint effort between Unilever Japan and Kao Corporation. The program targets to collect used bottles of personal and home care products and recycle them from bottle to bottle. The initiative has been selected as a demonstration project in the "2021 Innovative Technology and Business Model Promotion Project" organized by Tokyo, in which the metropolitan government had publicly sought for players to promote the implementation of horizontal recycling. Horizontal recycling refers to the process of drastically reducing and reusing plastics and converting them back into resin equivalent to virgin resources (unused resources). The scheme will be verified together with Tokyo. P&G Japan G.K. and Lion Corporation have newly joined the initiative and the four parties will collaborate in the demonstration project to further expand and accelerate its development.

Overview of the "Collaborative Plastic Recycling Program"
1. Exploring methods for the separated collection and recycling of personal and home care product packaging through collaboration with consumers, local government, and business enterprises.
2. Verifying horizontal recycling technologies that can make new bottles from used bottles of personal and home care products.

From June 1 (Tuesday), 2021

Install collection boxes in Higashi-Yamato City, Komae City (Tokyo) and Joso City (Ibaraki) and collect used packaging that has been cleaned and dried after use at home. Collected packaging is then sorted, cleaned, and processed by Veolia Jenets K.K., a company engaged in recycling. Horizontal recycling technologies for making new bottles from used bottles will then be verified.

About Unilever
Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products, with sales in over 190 countries and products used by 2.5 billion people every day. We have 149,000 employees and generated sales of €50.7 billion in 2020. Our vision is to be the global leader in sustainable business and to demonstrate how our purpose-led, future-fit business model drives superior performance. The Unilever Compass, our sustainable business strategy, is set out to help us deliver superior performance and drive sustainable and responsible growth, while improving the health of the planet; improving people's health, confidence and wellbeing; and contributing to a fairer and more socially inclusive world. We serve consumers in Japan for over 50 years with brands including Lux, Dove, Clear, and AXE. For more information, please visit


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.


About P&G Japan
P&G Japan serves consumers with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Ariel, Sarasa, Lenor, Febreze, Joy, Pampers, Whisper, Pantene, h&s, Hair Recipe, SK-II, Gillette, Braun, and Oral-B by Braun in Japan market. The P&G community includes operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. We believe in finding small but meaningful ways to improve lives—now and for generations to come. Please visit (https://jp.pg.com/)for the latest news and information about P&G Japan.

Lion Corporation Overview
Representative: Masazumi Kikukawa, Representative Director, President and Executive Officer
Address: 1-3-7 Honjo, Sumida-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Established: September 1918 (founded October 30, 1891) Net Sales (consolidated): 355.3 billion yen (term ended December 2020) No. of employees (consolidated): 7,452 (as of December 31, 2020) Business description: The manufacture and sale of toothpastes, toothbrushes, soaps, detergents, hair- and skin-care products, cooking-related products and pharmaceuticals. Exports to overseas affiliates.

About Veolia Group
Veolia group aims to be the benchmark company for ecological transformation. With nearly 179,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides game-changing solutions that are both useful and practical for water, waste and energy management. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and replenish them. In 2020, the Veolia group supplied 95 million people with drinking water and 62 million people with wastewater service, produced nearly 43 million megawatt hours of energy and treated 47 million metric tons of waste. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €26.010 billion in 2020.


*This news release is a translation of a Japanese-language news release dated December 13, 2021.

Initiatives for Kao's ESG Strategy, the Kirei Lifestyle Plan and plastic circularity in society
Recognizing its responsibility as an enterprise that provides products which people use on a regular basis in their daily lives, Kao takes active steps to reduce the environmental footprint of its products throughout the entirety of the product lifecycle. In April 2019, Kao launched the Kirei Lifestyle Plan, its ESG (environmental, social and governance) strategy, which incorporates 19 key leadership actions. Kao's purpose is to create 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. 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.

Regarding the issue of plastic waste, which is a significant problem for society, 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.

In September 2019, Kao announced that it would be focusing on Innovation in Reduction and Innovation in Recycling, so as to help realize a society characterized by effective plastic resource circulation. In the area of Innovation in Recycling, we are collaborating with other companies and organizations on the horizontal recycling of plastic packaging. Initiatives for which we are undertaking verification testing include the recycling of film packaging made using multiple different materials, which in the past has been considered difficult to recycle, as well as recycling of mono-material film packaging (which is made using a single material), and of mono-material bottle containers. We are also conducting demonstration testing for many other projects, including recycling of items other than packaging, such as used diapers.

By integrating ESG into the core of its company management, Kao will drive business growth and better serve consumers and society through its enhanced products and services. With this socially conscious ethos, Kao will create a Kirei life for all—providing care and enrichment for the life of all people and the planet.

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

Media inquiries should be directed to:
Corporate Strategy
Kao Corporation


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