Together with the EnvironmentRecycling Resources

Reducing Raw Material Usage

Lion understands that the use of raw materials is the use of resources. We therefore work to reduce our use of raw materials by making product contents more compact, expanding our lineup of refill products and making containers lighter.

Raw Material Usage
(Domestic Household Products)

Reducing Container and Packaging Materials—the 3Rs and Renewable Materials

In an effort to reduce the use of container and packaging materials, we are proactively promoting the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) and the sustainable use of renewable materials.

To reduce container and packaging materials, Lion complies with Lion eco-standard, which is designed to evaluate products over their entire life cycles by examining each life cycle stage, from raw material procurement to distribution and disposal.


To reduce container and packaging materials, Lion is making products such as laundry detergents, fabric softeners and dishwashing detergents more concentrated and their containers more compact.

In 2020, Lion’s total container and packaging material usage was 57,800 tons, almost the same as the previous year.

Going forward, we will continue working to reduce container and packaging material usage through such means as making products more compact and developing innovative container structures.

Lion’s Container and Packaging Material Usage
(Domestic Household Products)


Plastic bottles can be refilled and reused. Film packaging for refill packs can be produced using less material than product bottles, and because they weigh less and take up less space after use, they also help reduce household waste.


Using Recycled Plastics

Our dishwashing and liquid laundry detergent bottles are made with plastic recycled from disposable drink bottles and other sources.

Promoting Plastic Packaging and Container Resource Recycling

Kao and Lion are reaching out beyond their corporate groups in an effort to recycle plastic refill containers and packaging (film packaging), aiming to realize a resource-circulating society.

To accelerate the adoption of recycling, building basic systems for resource collection and developing recycling technologies are indispensable. At the same time, it is necessary to change mindsets across society in cooperation with stakeholders, including consumers, with regard to, for example, sorting plastic packaging after product use.

To this end, we are conducting the following four activities.

  1. Studying ways to sort and collect plastic film packaging in cooperation with consumers, government agencies and retailers.
  2. Creating recycled materials and packaging quality design with consideration for usability in a wide range of products, ease of sorting and collection by consumers, and potential for use across companies or industries.
  3. Studying ways to jointly use materials that are collected and recycled.
  4. Engaging in promotional and educational activities that will foster greater understanding and cooperation regarding recycling among consumers.

Through the above activities, we are working to improve the economic efficiency of collection and recycling as a whole. First, we are launching collaborative RecyCreation* activities to sort and collect film packaging and raise awareness in cooperation with local residents. By doing so, we are sharing information about the technological hurdles to plastic film packaging recycling.

Going forward, as we continue RecyCreation activities, we will advance the adoption of film packaging recycling in society, aiming for the horizontal recycling of film packaging into new packaging.

*“RecyCreation” denotes 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.”

In-store Collection of Used Refill Packs—Recycling Field Testing

We are implementing a RecyCreation activity at Ito-Yokado’s Hikifune Store (Sumida-ku, Tokyo), with the aim of field testing the sorted collection of film packaging from used refill packs. Under this initiative, a special collection box has been installed at the store to collect customers’ used refill packaging for such products as laundry detergents and shampoos. Going forward, we will expand the scope of the project by collaborating with more municipalities, businesses and stores.

The process of recycling used refill packs in the RecyCreation initiative
Overview of the Field Test
  • Purpose
    To examine processes for the sorted collection of used refill packs in collaboration with consumers and retailers.
  • Content
    To enhance consumers’ enthusiasm for recycling through RecyCreation
    Through the project, we are collecting used refill packs for such products as detergents and shampoos at Ito-Yokado’s Hikifune Store, studying 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)
    We will gradually expand this initiative to more locations.
  • How to prepare and return a pack for collection
    1. Cut along the top of the pack to open it
    2. Rinse out the inside of the pack twice with water
    3. Shake off excess water and let dry
    4. Put in collection box


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 artwork made using recycled refill pack plastic. A concept film presenting this work was released on October 30, 2020.


Using Recycled Paper

The containers and packaging for our powder laundry detergents and other products are made with recycled paper containing recycled pulp.

Using Plant-Based Plastics in Containers and Packaging

The containers and packaging of some Lion products are made with biomass plastic, made from such plant-based raw materials as corn and blackstrap molasses, a byproduct produced in the process of refining sugar from sugarcane.

Toothbrush Recycling Program

Because Lion manufactures and sells plastic products, it has a significant responsibility regarding plastic-related problems. To help fulfill this responsibility, since 2015, we have been implementing an initiative to collect and recycle used toothbrushes in cooperation with TerraCycle Japan. Many municipal governments and schools across Japan have taken part in this initiative.

Pellets and molded planters made from recycled plastic
Related SDGs

About the Toothbrush Recycling Program

Program participation is very easy and free.

  1. Register an account as an individual, school or other organization in advance
  2. Set out collection boxes and collect used toothbrushes.
  3. A designated carrier will pick up the box by the second business day after a collection request is made
  4. The toothbrushes will be reborn as new plastic products, such as planters, instead of being sent to a landfill or incinerator

Participants receive points according to the weight of the toothbrushes that they send. The points can be exchanged for plastic products produced through TerraCycle's recycling program or donated to a charity of the participant’s choice.

Toothbrush Recycling Program

Reducing Waste

Zero Emissions from Operating Sites (Domestic)

Lion’s four domestic plants all achieved zero waste emissions in 2002. All of Lion’s operating sites,* including research institutes and offices, achieved zero waste emissions in 2017.
Despite efforts to ensure thorough waste sorting and the conversion of waste into resources, total waste generated by the domestic Group in 2020 was up year on year, but down 41% compared with 1990. The domestic Group’s total waste consigned to final disposal in landfills in 2020 was down 99.9% from 1990, and we continue working to reduce such waste.

*Chiba Plant, Odawara Plant, Osaka Plant, Akashi Plant, Hirai Office Site, Sapporo Office, Sendai Office, Headquarters/Tokyo Office, Nagoya Office, Osaka Office, Fukuoka Office, Lion Chemical Co., Ltd. Fine Chemical Production Site, Lion Chemical Co., Ltd. Oleochemical Production Site, Lion Specialty Chemicals Co., Ltd. Yokkaichi Plant, Lion Specialty Chemicals Co., Ltd. Ono Plant

Total Waste Generation

Total Waste Consigned to Final Disposal
in Landfills (Domestic)

As a result of thorough waste sorting and the selection of contractors capable of effectively processing waste, the total amount of waste converted into resources in 2020 was approximately 3,000 tons.

Total Resources Recovered

Waste Generation (Overseas)

Total waste generation overseas in 2020 was down year on year as a result of initiatives to promote recycling. We will continue to advance initiatives to reduce waste going forward.

Total Waste Generation

Total Waste Consigned to Final Disposal
in Landfills (Overseas)

Total Resources Recovered

Scope of Overseas Data

All overseas consolidated subsidiaries