Kao and Lion Begin Collaboration on Recycling Field Testing
In-store Collection of Used Refill Packs Has Begun at Ito-Yokado’s Hikifune Store

On September 10, 2020, it was announced that Kao Corporation and Lion Corporation would be collaborating on the recycling of film packaging, to help realize plastic packaging resource circulation in society. With the assistance of Ito-Yokado Co., Ltd., a RecyCreation*1 activity is being implemented at Ito-Yokado’s Hikifune Store (Sumida-ku, Tokyo), with the aim of conducting separated collection field testing for used refill packs. Under this initiative, a special collection box has been installed in the store, to collect used refill containers (for laundry detergents and shampoo products, etc.) from store customers. Kao and Lion are trying to expand the scope of this recycling project by collaborating with more municipalities, businesses and stores in the future.

*1 “RecyCreation” is a term coined by Kao to denote upcycling through which more enjoyable and improved products are developed and resulting in new value creation, rather than recycling materials for the purpose of reproducing the same types of materials. The concept of this initiative is “Throwing it away after use. We want to change this common practice.”


Collection box for used refill packs in Ito-Yokado’s Hikifune Store (Outlined in red)

Kao has been promoting new system and lifestyle solutions for the resource-circulating society through the RecyCreation initiative since 2015. One of the specific measures that Kao has been implementing is the collection of used refill packs (for detergent and shampoo products, etc.) in collaboration with local residents and partner companies, for processing into recycled plastic; related activities are underway at five locations*2 in Japan. In this current project, implemented jointly by Kao and Lion, a collection box for used refill packs was installed at Ito-Yokado’s Hikifune Store starting from October 30, 2020. The collected refill packs are recycled to create plastic blocks and 3D printing filament (the raw material used when making objects with 3D printers). The items made from the recycled material have a wide variety of uses, for example being utilized in events held to spread awareness of the importance of recycling, and some of the material is used in the development of even more advanced recycling technology.
Kao and Lion aim to secure consumers’ understanding of and support for recycling by spreading awareness of the concept of RecyCreation, by which new value is created from used items. Both companies are also working to establish comprehensive recycling supply chain for plastic resource circulation in society by creating a more effective refill pack recycling system, and working to improve existing recycling technologies and develop new technologies.

*2 The five locations are as follows: Kamikatsu-cho, Tokushima Prefecture (starting in January 2016); Onagawa-cho, Miyagi Prefecture (starting in April 2017); Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture (starting in October 2017); Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture (starting in November 2017); Kitami, Hokkaido (starting in October 2018).



The process of recycling used refill packs in the RecyCreation initiative

[Field-testing Overview]

To examine processes for separated collection of film packaging, such as used refill packs, etc., in collaboration with consumers and retailers.

To enhance consumers’ enthusiasm for recycling through RecyCreation
・Collecting used refill packs for detergent and shampoo products, etc., at Ito-Yokado’s Hikifune Store
・Creating blocks and artworks (“Sumida-ku in 2050”) using plastic recycled from used refill packs
・Examining effective collection systems and developing new recycling technology

●Implementation period
Starting from October 30, 2020

●Location of collection box for used refill packs
Ito-Yokado’s Hikifune Store (Sumida-ku, Tokyo)

As part of this initiative, the Ultra Modelers artists’ collective, which makes art-works using 3D printing, has been creating “Sumida-ku in 2050,” a 3D art-work using plastic recycled from refill packs. A concept film presenting this work was released on October 30, 2020.
(URL: (Japanese)


[Company Profiles]

■About Kao
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.

■Lion Corporation Overview
Representative: Masazumi Kikukawa, Representative Director, President and Executive Officer
Address: 1-3-7 Honjo, Sumida-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Established: September 1918 (founded October 30, 1891)
Net Sales (consolidated): 347.5 billion yen (term ended December 2019)
No. of employees (consolidated): 7,151 (as of December 31, 2019)
Business description: The manufacture and sale of toothpastes, toothbrushes, soaps, detergents, hair- and skin-care products, cooking-related products and pharmaceuticals. Exports to overseas affiliates.

Inquiries should be directed to:

Media inquiries should be directed to:

Corporate Communications
Kao Corporation

Tel.: +81-3-3660-7043

Inquiries should be directed to:

Media inquiries should be directed to:

Corporate Communication Center
Lion Corporation

Tel.: +81-3-3621-6661
Fax: +81-3-3621-6529

[Environmental Initiatives]

■Initiatives for Kao’s ESG Strategy, the Kirei Lifestyle Plan and plastic circularity in society

Recognizing its responsibility as an enterprise that provides products which people use on a regular basis in their daily lives, the Kao Group takes active steps to reduce the environmental footprint of its products throughout the entirety of the product lifecycle. In April 2019, Kao launched the Kirei Lifestyle Plan, its ESG (environmental, social and governance) strategy, which incorporates 19 key leadership actions. Kao is now beginning the full implementation of related activities by enhancing its core value of Yoki-Monozukuri that it has built up through its corporate activities to realize “Yoki-Monozukuri with ESG integration (ESG-driven Yoki-Monozukuri).” Kao defines Yoki-Monozukuri as a strong commitment by all members to provide products and brands of excellent value for consumer satisfaction. It plans to further strengthen its initiatives incorporating environmental and social considerations.

Regarding the issue of plastic waste, which is a significant problem for society, Kao has for some time now been contributing toward the resolution of this issue by making the material used for plastic containers thinner, promoting the use of refill packs, making products more highly concentrated, and shifting over to larger-sized containers, etc. In 2018, Kao released “Our Philosophy & Action on Plastic Packaging,” which details its approach to plastic packaging. In addition, in September 2019, Kao announced that it would be focusing on Innovation in Reduction and Innovation in Recycling, so as to help realize a society characterized by effective plastic resource circulation.

With “Innovation in Recycling,” which includes RecyCreation where new value is created from used plastic, the company’s responsibility does not end when a product is sold; instead, the company continues to take responsibility for the product right through until disposal of the used product. Taking the core technologies that Kao has developed over the years as the foundation, Kao is focusing on building revolutionary new recycling technology for recycling used plastic packaging, on the development and utilization of high-quality, low-cost recycled plastic, and on the use of plastic waste for industrial applications.

<Related Information>
■ Kao and Lion Begin Collaboration on RecyCreation Activities

■ RecyCreation on Facebook (Japanese)

■ Kao launches new ESG Strategy “Kirei Lifestyle Plan” to support consumer lifestyle changes

■ Kao’s New Challenges for the Future: Accelerating Purposeful Business Commitment with ESG

■ Our Philosophy & Action on Plastic Packaging

■ Measures Implemented in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture (Japanese)

■ Measures Implemented in Onagawa-cho, Miyagi Prefecture

■ Measures Implemented in Kamikatsu-cho, Tokushima Prefecture

■ Measures Implemented in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture

■ Measures Implemented in Kitami, Hokkaido

■ Kao Received the EcoPro 2019 Executive Committee Chairman’s Award at the 2nd EcoPro Awards

■ Lion’s LION Eco Challenge 2050 and initiatives to realize resource circulation in society

In 2019, the Lion Group established the LION Eco Challenge 2050 long-term environmental objectives, to contribute through its business to the achievement of globally shared goals, including the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to combat the environmental problems that are growing on a global scale. By conducting business activities while aiming to achieve these objectives, Lion will contribute to the realization of a post-carbon society and resource circulation in society.

Lion has to date conducted various measure to reduce its use of plastic, including making bottles smaller by concentrating detergents and other products, expanding the use of refill products, using recycled materials and using bioplastics in packaging. Since 2015, Lion has been collecting and recycling used toothbrushes.

The Lion Group aims to realize effortless ways for consumers to be more environmentally friendly just by living comfortably, by offering products and services that redesign everyday habits through innovation and cooperation with various stakeholders.

<Related Information>
■ Kao and Lion Begin Collaboration on RecyCreation Activities

■ A Highly-concentrated Formulation with Superior Cleaning Power! Lion Launches New, Improved “Top Super NANOX” Highly-concentrated Liquid Washing Detergent, in Transparent Bottles Made from 100% Recycled PET Material (Japanese)

■ Released the LION Eco Challenge 2050 long-term environmental objectives for a healthy future for people and the Earth (Japanese)

■ Lion’s approach to the environment

■ Lion and Sumida-ku, Tokyo Prefecture Conclude Agreement on Toothbrush Recycling (Japanese)

■ Lion’s Sustainability