Environment

Initiatives for Containers and Packaging

Based on our 2R+B strategy, Suntory Beverage and Food (SBF) continues to lead the industry in initiatives for reducing environmental impact.

Introduction of Initiatives

Started using the lightest(*1) PET bottles in Japan

SBF’s efforts to reduce materials used in PET bottles began in 2001 when we reduced the weight of Suntory Tennensui (2L bottle) and Suntory Oolong Tea (500mL). Since then, we have continued efforts every year.
From May 2013, we started using our independently developed 11.3-gram bottle, Japan’s lightest bottle(*1), for 550mL bottles of Suntory Tennensui. From February 2013, we introduced the 29.8-gram PET bottle for our 2L bottles. Additionally, our 550mL bottle is made from 30% bio-based materials. This reduces the amount of petroleum-based materials by approximately 40%.

*1 Compared to Japan’s domestically-produced mineral water PET bottles (500mL to 600mL) As of April 2018

Bottle weight

Bottle weight

Bottle weight

Adoption of a 12μm roll label, Japan’s thinnest label(*2)

In autumn of 2010, we adopted an 18μm (micrometer) product label(*3) that used 60% regenerated PET plastic. Next, in May 2012, in order to further reduce environmental impact, we increased the ratio of regenerated PET plastic from 60% to 80% and started using a 16μm (micrometer) product label. From April 2014, we reduced thinness by a further 4μm and introduced a 12μm product label, Japan’s thinnest label(*2). This label is used for Suntory Tennensui.
As a result, it became possible to reduce CO2 emissions by 25%(*4) compared to conventional roll labels.
Also, from May 2014, we replaced the existing oil-based gravure printing for the roll label for Suntory Aso Tennensui with water-based flexo printing. This change made it possible to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and CO2.

*2 As of April 2018
*3 1μm is 1/1000 of 1mm
*4 Reduction ratio in the film manufacturing process

Roll label

Roll label

Started using 1.85-gram PET bottle caps, Japan’s lightest cap(*5)

In 2008, as part of our continued initiatives for reducing environmental impact, we decreased the weight of caps for Suntory Tennensui by introducing a 30φ (phi) short-height cap. From January 2015, for brands such as Suntory Green Tea Iyemon, Suntory Oolong Tea, and Green DAKARA, we reduced the weight of 28φ caps for room-temperature aseptic filling by approximately 25%, from 2.65-2.75 grams to 2.04 grams.

Furthermore, from September 2016, we introduced a 1.85-gram cap, Japan’s lightest cap(*5), of which 30% is made from bio-based materials. Compared to existing PET bottle caps, this reduction in weight made it possible to reduce the amount of petroleum-based materials by approximately 35%(*6) and to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 27%(*6).

*5 According to an investigation by our company in April 2018
*6 Per one bottle of Suntory Tennensui (550 mL)

1.85-gram PET bottle cap

Introduction of Initiatives

Japan’s First Bottle to Bottle Recycling (in the beverage industry)

PET bottles are an important resource collected from the homes of consumers. The majority of regenerated plastic is used in clothing, egg cartons, and other items other than bottles. In 2009, the Suntory Group began full-scale efforts to establish “bottle to bottle” recycling; in other words, recycling in which the collected bottles are regenerated as PET bottles. The driving force behind this new form of recycling is an innovative technology called mechanical recycling.

Conventional chemical recycling uses a process in which the collected bottles are chemically dissolved to the molecular level and then once again created as plastic. Conversely, mechanical recycling leaves the bottles in the form of PET plastic (macromolecular) and uses a high-temperature vacuum to extract deeply ingrained impurities, thus regenerating the bottles into highly pure plastic. Mechanical recycling achieves significant shortening of process and conserves manufacturing energy.

Japan’s First Bottle to Bottle Recycling (in the beverage industry)

Differences in the PET bottle regeneration process by recycling method

Differences in the PET bottle regeneration process by recycling method

Succeeded in the development and introduction of F to P Direct Recycling Technology

Together with Kyoei Sangyo Co., Ltd., S.I.P.A. S.p.A. (Italy), and EREMA GmbH (Austria), we developed F to P Direct Recycling Technology for use in the recycling manufacturing of PET bottles. We started using the technology from 2018.
In this technology, flakes created by pulverizing and washing the collected PET bottles are treated for a certain amount of time in a high-temperature, decompressed environment. After melting and filtering the flakes, preform is directly manufactured.
Compared to existing methods which required numerous processes such as crystallization treatment and drying before preform manufacturing, the F to P Direct Recycling Technology reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 25% and further decreases environmental impact. It also increases the efficiency of manufacturing bottle to bottle recycled PET bottles.

Construction of a testing plant and start of research for the implementation of PET bottles using 100% bio-based materials

SBF is cooperating with the American biochemical venture corporation Anellotech, Inc. in joint development to make 100% bio-based PET bottles.
We constructed a testing plant in 2016 and are currently conducting R&D.

History of containers and packaging

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