Sustainable recycling of containers and packagingRecycling
Recycling of PET bottles
The Kirin Group promotes the recycling of PET bottles as a member of the Council for PET Bottle Recycling. Under the Council’s Fourth Voluntary Action Plan (FY2021-FY2025), we are working toward a target recycling rate of at least 85% (base year: FY2004). In July 2021, we began trialing the collection of used PET bottles at convenience stores using the proprietary bottle recovery machine we developed.
Flow of recycling of PET bottles
Recycling of cans
The Kirin Group is pursuing the adoption of aluminum cans that use a high rate of recycled metal. We have also joined the Japan Aluminum Can Recycling Association, and we are providing assistance for the collection of used aluminum cans as a way to promote their recycling.
Can manufacturers recycle aluminum cans discarded at breweries and use them as 100% aluminum cans for beer.
Recycling of glass bottles
We turn old returnable glass beer bottles that can no longer be reused and one-way bottles which are used only once into cullet, for use primarily as the raw material for making new glass bottles. We are pursuing uses for cullet made from colored glass, which cannot easily be re-used for glass bottles. We are expanding potential ways to recycle this material for other applications, including in building materials such as tiles and blocks and road paving materials.
Lion’s efforts to realize a circular economy
In its “Sustainable Packaging Strategy,” Lion sets out how it wants to improve the circularity of materials used in the value chain. As part of this strategy, Lion focuses on increasing the recycled content in packaging through the following three tiers of action:
- Lion aims to maximize recycled content in existing materials while maintaining quality and safety.
- Where it is not yet possible to increase recycled content in packaging, Lion evaluates alternative materials.
- Lion supports recovery schemes to ensure the collection of clean, high-quality recycled materials that can be sourced by local suppliers and recycled back into products of equal or higher value.
Lion’s has also set ambitious targets aligned with the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) 2025 targets as follows:
- Increasing recycled content to at least 50 percent by 2025
- 100 percent of Lion’s packaging materials to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025
Lion’s role in Australia’s Container Deposit Schemes
Australia has Container Deposit Schemes operating within six of its eight states, with future schemes announced for all the remaining states in Australia. Victoria’s and Tasmania’s implementation is expected in 2022/23.
Lion plays an active role in Australia’s Container Deposit Schemes, holding majority ownership of Marine Stores, a Super Collector in South Australia and the Northern Territory. Lion is also a part of the joint venture which coordinates the NSW Container Deposit Scheme, Exchange for Change (EfC). In Queensland and Western Australia, Lion is a member of the Container Exchange (QLD) Limited (CoEx) and WA Return Recycle Renew Limited (WARRRL), which have been appointed as the Producer Responsibility Organisations to administer and run the Queensland and Western Australian schemes respectively. New South Wales has returned more than five billion bottles and cans in just over three years of the Container Deposit Scheme being in place. An average of 7 million drink containers per day are being returned in New South Wales. There are currently 628 return points operating across the state.
The Queensland Container Refund Scheme has been operating for just over two years with approximately 3 billion containers returned and 311 points return points in operation.
The Western Australian Container Deposit Scheme commenced on October 1, 2020. To date, this has been the most successful scheme launch, with over 200 million containers already returned. The South Australian scheme has been operating for over 40 years and is currently reporting a return rate of beverage containers sold of approximately 76.9%. In 2021, the South Australian government is looking to modernize the scheme and push returns even higher. Lion is working with the government to assist in the development and implementation of improvements.
In the Australian Capital Territory, the scheme operating has returned and recycled more than 150 million containers since it commenced in December 2017.
The Northern Territory scheme continues to operate with a target return rate of 80% of containers sold in 2020.
New Zealand have announced that a Container Return Scheme is being considered for introduction across New Zealand to remove the issue of beverage containers entering landfill waste. The proposed scheme’s design is expected to be finalized in 2021.