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[Food & Beverages domain]

Tobu Railway and Kirin Beverage Collaborate to Start "bottle-to-bottle" of PET bottles (horizontal recycling system)

Starting with the Tobu Tojo Line

  • CSV

August 16, 2022

Kirin Beverage Company, Limited

TOKYO, Tuesday August 16, 2022 - Kirin Beverage Company, Limited (Kirin Beverage), in cooperation with Tobu Railway began "bottle-to-bottle" of PET bottles (horizontal recycling system), in which used PET bottles were collected and recycled into PET bottles, at 33 Tobu Tojo Line stations*1 from August 3 (Wednesday).

*1:All 46 stations on the Tobu Tojo Line (including 7 stations on the Ogose Line) where our vending machines are installed are covered.

1. Background

In Japan, used PET bottles are often recycled for a wide range of uses after collection, and the "bottle-to-bottle" ratio of PET bottles recycled into PET bottles is low at 15.7%*2 . It is technically difficult to recycle them into PET bottles once they are recycled into PET products other than PET bottles.

In addition, empty containers in the recycling boxes installed next to vending machines are collected by each business as "business-related waste," which is an inefficient collection scheme.

In order to further promote "bottle-to-bottle" in the future, it is necessary to process PET bottles collected from recycling boxes to a quality that enables "bottle-to-bottle" as well as to reduce the cost of collection.

*2:PET Bottle Recycling Promotion Council "PET Bottle Recycling Annual Report 2021

2. Outline of Initiatives

Kirin Beverage and Tobu Railway will jointly establish a scheme to collect PET bottles from recycling boxes installed along the company's railroad lines and a recycling cycle to recycle PET bottles collected along the lines back into PET bottles, and will start operating the scheme ahead of the others.

In this initiative, Tobu Building Management Corporation will collect used PET bottles*3 from the recycling boxes installed next to our vending machines at each station on the Tobu Tojo Line, conduct intermediate processing at Kinoshita Friend Corporation, and send them to Toyotsu Pet Recycling Systems Corporation, which is a recycler, and then we will manufacture beverages in containers made of recycled and re-cycled PET.

In addition, we will also work to educate customers using the stations through posters and other means to ensure that they correctly understand the purpose of the recycling bins and to reduce the amount of foreign matter mixed in.

*3:When Tobu Building Management collects the bottles, it collects not only PET bottles but also cans and bottles at the same time.

  • <Recycle bins with educational stickers installed at Ikebukuro Station Recycling box>

  • <Recycling awareness sticker>

  • <Recycling awareness poster>

3. Effects of the Efforts

This time, Kirin Beverage and Tobu Railway will cooperate to establish a recycling model that reliably utilizes collected used PET bottles for recycling into PET bottles, thereby expanding the social infrastructure for "bottle-to-bottle" recycling.

In addition, the application of this scheme will enable us to reduce the collection cost of our recycling bins and streamline the route to intermediate treatment, thereby realizing "bottle-to-bottle" at a lower cost.

4. Future development

After verifying the results of the initial implementation at 33 stations on the Tobu Tojo Line, we plan to expand the scale of the initiative in the future by expanding the scope to include the recycling bins next to our vending machines installed on all Tobu Railway lines.

5. Environmental Initiatives of the Kirin Group

In February 2020, the Kirin Group formulated Kirin Group’s Environmental Vision 2050, a new vision for strengthening the resilience of society and the company, and declared its aim to create a society in which containers and packaging are sustainably recycled. In addition, the Kirin Group Plastics Policy states that 50% of the PET resin used in Japan must be recycled by 2027.

About Kirin Holdings

Kirin Holdings Company, Limited is an international company that operates in the Food & Beverages domain (Food & Beverages businesses), Pharmaceuticals domain (Pharmaceuticals businesses), and Health Science domain (Health Science business), both in Japan and across the globe.

Kirin Holdings can trace its roots to Japan Brewery which was established in 1885. Japan Brewery became Kirin Brewery in 1907. Since then, the company expanded its business with fermentation and biotechnology as its core technologies, and entered the pharmaceutical business in the 1980s, all of which continue to be global growth centers. In 2007, Kirin Holdings was established as a pure holding company and is currently focusing on boosting its Health Science domain.

Under the Kirin Group Vision 2027 (KV 2027), a long-term management plan launched in 2019, the Kirin Group aims to become “A global leader in CSV*, creating value across our world of Food & Beverages to Pharmaceuticals.” Going forward, the Kirin Group will continue to leverage its strengths to create both social and economic value through its businesses, with the aim of achieving sustainable growth in corporate value.

* Creating Shared Value: combined added value for consumers as well as for society at large.


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