Kao : is Participating in a Project to Efficiently Recycle Plastics through Integrated Arterial and Venous Physical Distribution in Tokyo's Dai-Maru-Yu Area
06/06/2021 | 10:05pm EDT
Beginning in May 2021, Kao has been participating in a project to efficiently recycle plastics through integrated arterial and venous physical distribution*1 in Tokyo's Dai-Maru-Yu area*2 . Kao will evaluate the physical properties of the plastic collected through this project and study the feasibility of using this material in consumer product packaging.
*1 Arterial physical distribution: from producers to consumers. Venous physical distribution: from consumers to producers.
*2 Otemachi, Marunouchi and Yurakucho areas.
Much of the plastic waste currently produced in commercial facilities and office buildings is used for thermal recycling*3 rather than material recycling.*4 Given the focus in the past few years on marine plastic and other forms of plastic waste that fail to be recovered or reused properly, there is a need to recycle plastic waste more extensively and create a circular system for recovering and reusing plastic. One way to do so is to reuse post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials as raw materials. However, this entails several problems, such as the fact that the composition of the materials differs and volume generated is not uniform, so it is unclear how much volume each source produces and materials are of varying quality, which drives up recovery costs. In order for businesses to use PCR materials on a sustained basis, traceability must be guaranteed and the above-noted problems solved.
*3 Recovery and use of energy generated from burning waste.
*4 Reuse of consumed resources as raw materials for new products.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Recycling Designation System*5 has made this project's integrated arterial and venous physical distribution possible. Through the integrated process of recovering, compressing and storing recycled materials and processing them into pellets and finished products, the issues related to establishing a circular system for plastic resources and the environmental load and costs associated with their overall lifecycle will be evaluated.
*5 Under a Recycling Designation System, only firms in the business of processing industrial waste which can definitely be reused are designated by prefectural governors. These firms are not required to have an industrial waste processing permit, and the system facilitates reuse of industrial waste.
Since 2020, Kao has been working with the city of Kawasaki, a recipient of the Ministry of the Environment's FY2020 subsidy for projects to reduce CO2 emissions (using decarbonization innovation to build a symbiotic circular area system), on a project to study building a model low-carbon cycle for conversion into new materials to create a circular economy in cities. In that project, similar to the one announced here, Kao has been working with other businesses to reuse PCR materials recovered from commercial facilities.
In this project and through its collaboration with the city of Kawasaki, Kao will provide plastics research technology and contribute to creating a circular society for plastics by working together with local authorities and with other businesses.