The 3Rs of containers and packaging
The Sapporo Group Containers and Packaging Vision
2050 Long-Term Vision
- To ensure that 100 percent of our containers and packaging are suitable for a recycling society
- To maintain and further decrease our use of containers and packaging, through weight reductions and simplification
- To increase our use of renewable resources, and to reduce our dependency on exhaustible resources
- To deepen our links and cooperation with external parties, and to contribute to the establishment of a sustainable recycling society
Our goal of ensuring that “our containers and packaging are suitable for a recycling society” entails the continued use of cans, glass bottles, and barrels that can be recycled and reused; in addition, it entails the use of renewable PET resins, biodegradable plastics, and biomass materials, as well as the use of FSC-certified paper. By ensuring that 100 percent of the containers and packaging we use for Group business activities are suitable for a recycling society, we intend to reduce our environmental impact.
We recognize the importance of considering the environmental impact of product lifecycles in their entirety, including distribution, materials procurement, and securing usability. To this end, it is our intention to create environmentally friendly designs, engage in research and development of materials and containers and packaging, and improve and expand our production environments.
Reduce promotion with lightweight containers and packaging
Sapporo Breweries is expanding its use of lightweight aluminum can lids for its beer-flavored beverages*1.
The shape of the cans is modified and beads are embossed*2 on the can lid surfaces, resulting in lighter can lids that still retain the quality of previous can lids. If Sapporo Breweries switched to the use of these lightweight aluminum can lids for all its beer-flavored beverages, based on its results for 2018 it would be able to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 1,200 tons.
Industry-wide adoption of these lightweight aluminum can lids should be straightforward, neither can manufacturers nor beverage manufacturers are required to carry out large-scale capital investment, and since almost no alterations need to be made to production processes.
The lids were designed and are manufactured by Daiwa Can Company, with practical evaluations carried out by Sapporo Breweries.
The lids received the Kinoshita Award in the Improvement and Rationalization category at the 43rd Kinoshita Awards, hosted by the Japan Packaging Institute, in June 2019.
- The thickness of the aluminum substrate is reduced from 0.235 mm to 0.215 mm.
The mass of aluminum used per can lid is reduced by approximately 7% from 3.1 g to 2.9 g.
- The addition of beads embossed on the surface of the can lid improves rigidity.
The new lids retain the same pressure-resistance to their contents, and retain the same product quality (ease of opening, etc.) as previous lids.
- Neither can manufacturers nor beer manufacturers require large-scale capital investments to use the new lids.
*1 “Beer-flavored beverages” refers to beverages that taste of beer; the category includes beer, happoshu, new category, and non-alcohol beer-flavored products.
*2 “Embossed beads” refer to beads embossed on the surface of the can lids.
Initiatives aimed at reducing waste in the use of gift box packaging materials
In 2018, Sapporo Breweries collaborated with Nippon Tokan Package Co., Ltd. to develop an environmentally friendly and rational gift box. The side of the box lid features a window through which product information can be verified; by changing the product identification label, the same materials can be used for all box lids of the same shape, so minimizing the loss of inventory materials that typically occurs every time a product and its packaging is revised. This design was widely praised, and received the Appropriate Packaging Award at the 2018 Japan Packaging Contest.
In 2020, Sapporo Breweries intends to introduce two new types of environmentally friendly gift cartons.
The first uses innovative packaging methods to decrease the cumulative dimensions of the gift carton to 60cm or less, and so reduce the amount of paper used by approximately 40% compared to previous cartons. Since the new cartons are easy to hold and carry, and can be folded with one hand, they also contribute to improved usability.
The second also features a compact shape to reduce paper usage. In addition, these cartons can be stored vertically, enabling products to be removed from the side of the carton for improved convenience.
Voluntary collection and reuse of glass bottles
Many reusable containers (bottles, kegs) are used for beer and beverages, mostly with restaurant clients.
Returnable bottles are reused repeatedly through voluntary collection routes and after being transported to factories and cleaned. Many activities for maintaining and improving this reuse system is being implemented, with the aim of “100% collection”.
Promotion of container recycling
Sapporo Breweries and POKKA SAPPORO have participated in recycle organizations according to the materials used in various containers, and also have been making 3R efforts with the cooperation of municipalities.
Furthermore, promotion of container and packaging recycling are being made by promoting recycling on container labels.
|Major recycle organizations||Glass Bottle 3R Promotion Association, Japan Aluminum Can Recycling Association, The Council for PET Bottle Recycling|
|Major municipalities||9 Tokenshi “Containers and Packaging Diet Statement”|
Reuse/recycle procedure for used containers
POKKA SAPPORO Food & Beverage
The adoption of Ecology Bottles
POKKA SAPPORO Food & Beverage uses Ecology Bottles for its green glass “Pokka Lemon 100” bottles.
An Ecology Bottle is a recycled glass bottle made using 90% or more cullet—used glass that has been crushed and is ready to be remelted—recovered from municipal and other collection points. By using the same glass over and over again, these environmentally friendly containers seek to reduce resource usage, reduce energy consumption, and reduce waste volumes.
POKKA SAPPORO uses CartoCans for some of its beverages; these containers are made primarily of paper, and contain 30% or more wood derived from domestic forest thinning activities. Since these environmentally friendly products contain no aluminum or other metals, after their contents have been drunk the CartoCans can be cut open and recycled in the same way as milk cartons. By cutting them open, washing them, and drying them, the CartoCans can be collected at in-store and other collection points together with milk cartons. Collected CartoCans can be recycled into a variety of products, including toilet paper, tissues, and cardboard.
Lighter plastic containers
POKKA SAPPORO recognizes that waste plastic has a significant impact on the environment, not least in the form of ocean plastic pollution. For this reason, the company is working to lighten its PET bottles, caps, and other plastic containers.
Case study of lighter PET bottles
“Kaga Bo Hojicha”
PET bottles were lightened when the product was updated in August 2017, resulting in 29.6% less plastic being used.
Case study of lighter caps
“Café de Crié Ice Tea”
Since it was updated in September 2016, “Café de Crié Ice Tea” has used caps that are 5.3%–8.3% lighter than before.
Case study of lighter overall packaging
“70ml Pokka Lemon 100”
The plastic container used for 70ml Pokka Lemon 100 was lightened upon its February 2014 update, resulting in the use of 15.6% less plastic.
Initiatives for container and packaging littering prevention
Sapporo Breweries and POKKA SAPPORO conduct public awareness campaigns for recycling through various advertisements with the “ No Littering Mark” to promote environmental beautification and to prevent littering of empty containers.
Additionally, the companies have participated and been conducting various initiatives of the Beverage Industry Environment Beautification Association.