Unilever Japan and Kao Report on the Progress of the "Collaborative Plastic Recycling Program”

Veolia Jenets is cooperating as a recycler in "Collaborative Plastic Recycling Program”, a collaborative collection program between Unilever Japan and Kao Corporation, which aims to collect used bottles of personal and home care products and recycle them from bottle to bottle.

The progress of this project can be found in the newsletter below.


(The following is a newsletter issued by Unilever Japan and Kao Corporation)


PRESS RELEASE|Media References

September 8, 2021

Unilever Japan and Kao Report on the Progress of the "Collaborative Plastic Recycling Program”

1,426 used packaging collected in the first 80 days in Higashi-Yamato City. This project was selected as an innovative technology and business model promotion project by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Unilever Japan and Kao Corporation, with the cooperation of Veolia Japan, are implementing the "Collaborative Plastic Recycling Program" in Higashi-Yamato City, Tokyo, with the aim of creating a circular economy where plastic does not become waste. The following is a report on the progress of the project from June to August 2021.


Objectives of the “Collaborative Plastic Recycling Program”

  • Exploring methods for the separated collection and recycling of personal and home care product packaging through collaboration with consumers, local government, and business enterprises.
  • Verifying horizontal recycling technologies that can make new bottles from used bottles of personal and home care products


Progress and Achievement

We are collecting used packaging of personal and home care products separately using collection boxes set up at 10 locations in Higashi-Yamato City, Tokyo. With the cooperation of citizens of Higashi-Yamato City, we collected 1,426 used product packaging, approximately 42kg, from June 1 (Tuesday) to August 18(Wednesday), 2021. Citizens of the city, equivalent to 3.6% of all households in the city, participated in this program*1. About 46% of the collected product packaging were bottles and about 54% were film packaging for refill. Most were cleaned and dried at home, and there was only few items other than used packaging of personal and home care products.

With support of Higashi-Yamato City, we have been actively promoting this project through the city's website, SNS, waste separation app, posters, etc. Thanks to the understanding and cooperation of the citizens, collection has been progressing smoothly. Furthermore, the project was selected by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government as "2021 Innovative Technology and Business Model Promotion Projects", for taking progressive actions to realize horizontal recycling.

*1. Calculated based on the approximate number of bottles collected divided by the number of households in Higashi-Yamato City (39,895 households, as of August 2021)


Future Actions (including actions planned and under consideration)

  • Expanding separated collection of used packaging of personal and home care products

In addition to the collection and awareness-raising activities at our existing locations, we will continue to explore a system that will allow more people to participate in our activities as easy and fulfilling as possible. Specifically, we are considering actions such as carrying out a survey to citizens, adding collection sites, and using an app to visualize the amount collected at each site. We are also considering ways to improve the efficiency of the collection processes and collaborate with partners to ensure that the program remains commercially sustainable even as the number of collection sites increases.

  • Verification of horizontal recycling technology, making new bottles from used bottles

Collected packaging will be sorted, cleaned, and processed by Veolia Jenets K.K., a leading company in waste management and recycling, during September 2021. Then, by October 2021, Unilever Japan and Kao will aim to test-mold them into bottles with the cooperation of package manufacturers. Furthermore, by December 2021, we will conduct various tests including strength and safety tests to verify washing and recycling processes for horizontal recycling. We plan to continue the the same verification process every three months.



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 www.unilever.com/

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 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. www.veolia.com