News Release

  • (2018/11/29)
  • Suntory Beverage & Food Limited

Initiatives for the effective utilization of used PET bottles in the Japanese soft drink business

Suntory Beverage & Food Limited (Representative Director, President & Chief Executive Officer: Saburo Kogo; SBF) endorses the Japan Soft Drink Association’s Soft Drink Business Plastic Resource Reclamation Declaration 2018, for strengthening initiatives aimed at the 100% effective utilization of PET bottles for zero waste, in domestic soft drink business. SBF will take proactive actions to be a leader in the overall industry.

Most used PET bottles are currently not disposed of as garbage in Japan, but are collected and recycled as various products such as PET bottles, plastic sheets, trays, and fiber. Going forward, SBF will collaborate with various partners in the soft drink industry and external partners to further enhance collection activities. SBF will also implement activities to encourage consumers to better understand that PET bottles are not garbage, but rather a renewable resource.

The Suntory Group’s 2R+B strategy specifies reducing the amount of plastics used (Reduce), using recycled materials (Recycle), and using bio-based materials (Bio). It has worked to make packaging materials lighter and thinner, and has introduced Japan’s most lightweight(*1) PET bottles and created Japan’s thinnest(*1) labels. Furthermore, it is implementing a variety of initiatives, including PET bottles made from bio-based raw materials.

SBF believes that used PET bottles can be more effectively utilized as a precious renewable resource by repeatedly recycling them into new PET bottles. Based on this, we developed a mechanical bottle-to-bottle recycling system, the first of its kind in Japan(*2), with Kyoei Industry Co., Ltd. in 2011, and are proactively using recycled PET bottles. This year, SBF and Kyoei Industry jointly developed the world’s first F to P direct recycling technology(*3) for reducing the number of processes to reduce environmental impact and optimize recycling. The system was launched this autumn.

In the future, SBF will cooperate with recycling business companies to more actively introduce recycled PET bottles to promote bottle-to-bottle recycling. Using the latest technologies, SBF’s initial medium-term goal is to use recycled PET bottles for more than half of all PET bottle soft drink products(*4) in the domestic soft drink business by 2025. In this way, we will further enhance our activities for global environmental conservation to create a recycling-oriented society.

*1: Refers to the time of introduction for all

*2: Mechanical recycling system
One PET bottle recycling method, this system is the first developed in Japan to break up used PET bottles, wash them, process them under a high temperature and decompression for a specific time, then remove foreign matter from the recycled material.

*3: F to P direct recycling technology
This is the first technology developed in the world in which the collected PET bottles are broken and washed, the flakes are processed under a high temperature and decompression for a specific time, then they are liquified and filtered to directly manufacture preforms. This technology optimizes work tasks by reducing the number of processes until preform manufacturing (such as crystallization processing and drying), which reduces CO2 emissions by roughly 25% compared to traditional methods.

*4: Ratio of recycled resin used in PET bottle production (based on weight)

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