Kao’s RecyCreation Project Gives Back in Kitami, Hokkaido
Changing the Common Practice of Throwing it Away after Use
Kao Corporation is offering new systems and fun and creative experiences for consumers through RecyCreation*1 to create circularity in society. One specific project is working with local communities and partner companies to collect used detergent, shampoo, and other refill packs, and then processing them into recycled resin for other uses.
Kao has been collecting used refill packs in Kitami City, Hokkaido since October 2018. The collected packs are then reprocessed into blocks called “Okaeri-blocks” that are put to use for the benefit of local residents. At the 2019 Kitami Citizen’s Environmental Forum held on November 23, 2019 at the Kitami Civic Hall, Kao set up an exhibit on its RecyCreation activities and collected refill packs as part of its efforts related to this year’s Forum theme of addressing the problem of marine plastic waste.
*1 A combination of the words recycle and creation, RecyCreation upcycles items through fun experiences to create new value, rather than recycling materials for the purpose of reproducing the same types of materials, with the goal of changing the habit of “use and throw away.”
Members of the Kitami Eco-school SDGs Council
Kao Corporation released the “Kao Environmental Statement” in 2009, in which the company states its commitment to reduce its environmental impact at every level of business activities, to promote environmental conservation, and to build a sustainable society. In reducing the environmental footprint caused by product packaging, Kao takes the “4R approach,” with “reduce” as its base principle and adding “replace,” with the objective of switching raw materials to more sustainable choices, to “reuse” and “recycle.”
Using the new approach of RecyCreation since 2015, Kao has undertaken research to establish a new resource circulation system for packaging and has started projects to validate its value together with local communities and partner companies. In 2018, Kao established “Our Philosophy and Action on Plastic Packaging,” which presents its commitment to efforts like this to reduce plastic resource use. In April 2019, Kao also announced its ESG strategy, called the “Kirei Lifestyle Plan.”
Kao will continue to create new possibilities for RecyCreation, extending the circle of co-creation while building trust and support with various communities and stakeholders.
How refill packs are recycled into blocks
RecyCreation in Kitami
Beginning with the 1998 establishment of its “Kitami Basic Ordinance on the Environment,” the city of Kitami has promoted the environment and is advancing measures to address environmental conservation and creation. It is also actively engaged in public awareness campaigns. Its “Kururun Kitami” environmental fair, held annually for the past 20 years, offers lectures and exhibits on the environment and hosts flea markets and other activities.
Kao has been conducting RecyCreation activities with Kitami City since October 2018. With cooperation from the Kitami Eco-School SDGs Council, Kao set up 28 collection boxes throughout the city to collect used refill packs, and is currently working to expand the reach of that program to collect even more refill packs. With the cooperation of many partners, Kao will continue contributing to improving recycling awareness in Kitami City through RecyCreation.
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 1,500 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.
■RecyCreation Facebook page (Japanese)
■Kao launches new ESG Strategy “Kirei Lifestyle Plan” to support consumer lifestyle changes
■Our Philosophy & Action on Plastic Packaging
■RecyCreation in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan (Japanese)
■RecyCreation in Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan
■RecyCreation in Kamikatsu, Tokushima Prefecture, Japan
■RecyCreation in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan