Kao and Lion with Welcia Yakkyoku and Hamakyorex to Start Field Testing Recycling of Used Refill Film Packaging

Oct. 27, 2021 Sustainability


Kao Corporation, Lion Corporation, Welcia Yakkyoku Co., Ltd. and Hamakyorex Co., Ltd. are collaborating on RecyCreation* activities to realize plastic packaging resource circulation in society and started field testing of the recycling of used refill film packaging for household products on October 30, 2021.



* RecyCreation combines the concepts of recycle and creation, and aims to create new value by recycling used refill packs into more enjoyable and better items using technologies, knowledge and ideas. The concept of this initiative is “Throwing it away after use. We want to change this common practice.”
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Welcia Yakkyoku, a leading Japanese drugstore chain that handles large quantities of household products sold in refill packs, has set up collection boxes to collect used refill packs from detergent, shampoo and other products at a total of 28 locations, including its head office, 20 stores in Tokyo and seven stores in Saitama Prefecture, thereby creating opportunities for consumers to participate in the recycling initiative. Ensuring an efficient, environmentally friendly logistics process, logistics service provider Hamakyorex’s delivery trucks pick up the collected items after delivering products to Welcia Yakkyoku stores. The refill packs are then taken to Lion and Kao facilities for recycling into plastic blocks that can be utilized in stores and in the local community. The project is aimed at raising consumer awareness of improvements in technologies for the horizontal recycling of film packaging and the development of more recycling-friendly packaging.

The project will allow us to verify the economic efficiency and environmental impact of collecting and transporting the refill packs, with the aim of establishing an effective collection system. We will consider expanding the collection model developed in this initiative to other regions to realize a society with a sound material cycle for plastic resources.


Overview of Field Testing

■ Purpose
To study separated collection and recycling of used refill packs in collaboration with consumers and retailers.

■ Content
- Enhancing consumers’ enthusiasm for recycling through RecyCreation
- Collecting used detergent and shampoo, etc., refill packs from multiple Welcia Yakkyoku stores
- Surveying the quality and quantity of collected used refill packs
- Building a collection and transportation model wherein collected used refill packs are transported by delivery trucks on the way back from delivering products to stores
- Recycling used refill packs to make blocks and other products that can be used at stores and in the local community
- Creating experimental samples for horizontal recycling by employing used film packaging refill packs to make new film packaging

■ Collected Items
Used refill packs for household products (film packaging):
- Empty packs that have been washed and dried
- Regardless of manufacturer
- Regular (non-refill) bottles are excluded

■ Implementation Period
Starting October 30, 2021

■ Locations of collection boxes for used refill packs
Welcia Yakkyoku's Tokyo head office, 20 stores in Tokyo and seven stores in Saitama, for a total of 28 locations

Tokyo Adachi-ku: Welcia Adachi Shinden Store
Welcia Adachi Nishiarai Store
Welcia Adachi Aoi Store
Welcia Adachi Minami-Hanahata Store
Welcia Adachi Kaga Store
Welcia Adachi Kohoku Store
Welcia Adachi Shimane Store
Welcia Adachi Kodo Store
Welcia Adachi Takenotsuka Store
Welcia Adachi Takenotsuka 1-chome Store
  Edogawa-ku: Welcia Yakkyoku Edogawa Ichinoe Store
Welcia Edogawa Matsumoto Store
Welcia Edogawa Naka-Kasai Store
Welcia Edogawa Shishibone Store
Welcia Edogawa Hon-Isshiki Store
Welcia Edogawa Shinozaki Store
Welcia Edogawa Mizue-ekimae Store
Welcia Edogawa Higashi-Mizue Store
  Sumida-ku: Welcia Sumida Yahiro Store
  Chiyoda-ku: Welcia Chiyoda Ochanomizu Store
Welcia Yakkyoku Head Office
Saitama Prefecture    Kasukabe City:    Welcia Kasukabe Midori-cho Store
Welcia Kasukabe Ichinowari Store
Welcia Kasukabe Toyoharu Store
Welcia Kasukabe Fujitsuka Store
Welcia Kasukabe Hatchome Store
Welcia Kasukabe Yahara Store
Welcia Kasukabe Takesato Store

[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 1,400 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): 355.3 billion yen (term ended December 2020)
No. of employees (consolidated): 7,452 (as of December 31, 2020)
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.

■ Welcia Yakkyoku Co., Ltd.
Representative: Tadahisa Matsumoto, President and Representative Director
Address: 2-2-15 Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Established: April 1974
Net Sales (consolidated): 866.4 billion yen (term ended February 2021)
No. of employees (consolidated): 31,208 (term ended February, 2021; for part-time employees, 8 hours of working time was calculated as being equivalent to one full-time employee)
Business description: Operation of drugstores with in-store pharmacies

■ Hamakyorex Co., Ltd.
Representatives: Masataka Osuka, Chief Executive Officer; Hidenori Osuka, Chief Operating Officer
Address: 1701-1 Terawaki-cho, Minami-ku, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan
Established: February 1971
Net Sales (consolidated): 118.876 billion yen (term ended March 2021)
No. of employees (consolidated): 5,080 (as of March 31, 2021)
Business description: Logistics center operation

Environmental Initiatives

■ Kao Corporation

Kao and Lion Begin Collaboration on RecyCreation Activities

Kao launches new ESG Strategy “Kirei Lifestyle Plan”

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

Our Philosophy & Action on Plastic Packaging

Kao’s Sustainability

■ Lion Corporation

Kao and Lion Begin Collaboration on RecyCreation Activities

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

■ Welcia Yakkyoku Co., Ltd.

Environmental protection initiatives (Japanese)

Approach to CSR (Japanese)

■ Hamakyorex Co., Ltd.

Proactive environmental action plan (Japanese)