The 3Rs of containers, packaging, and materials

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

Medium-Term Vision

  • 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.

The Sapporo Group Plastics Policy

In order to realize a sustainable society, the Sapporo Group will contribute to the creation of a recycling-oriented society by taking the following steps to examine and tackle the plastics used in its business activities.

  1. Review the situations in which plastics are used and eliminate unnecessary use.
  2. Work to reduce the volume of plastic used.
  3. Convert to highly recyclable designs, recycled materials, and biomass plastics.

Container Packaging Past efforts toward a recycling-oriented society

Various types of containers and packaging are used for the products and services provided by the Sapporo Group. To date, we have been gradually expanding the use of environmentally friendly containers and packaging to prevent global warming and promote the 3Rs. Here we introduce some of the major initiatives undertaken by Sapporo Breweries Ltd. to date. We will continue to promote new initiatives under the Sapporo Group Container and Packaging Vision, aiming for "100% use of containers and packaging compatible with a recycling-oriented society".

[Reduce] Weight reduction of containers and packaging

Sapporo Breweries

lightweight aluminum can lids

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

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.

Adoption of lightweight bottles

Adoption of lightweight bottles

From 2021, Sapporo Breweries will gradually adopt lighter bottles for the 500ml bottles used in its "Darker Lemon Sour Base," "Male Plum Sour Base," "Umekaku Fruit-Based Plum Wine Cocktail Series," and other products.

Pokka Sapporo

Reducing the weight of plastic containers At Pokka Sapporo, we are working to reduce the weight of PET, caps, and other containers for the future, in light of the fact that plastics have a significant impact on the environment, including the marine litter problem.

Examples of PET weight reduction

Examples of PET weight reduction

Kaga-Bo-Hojicha: At the time of the renewal launch in August 2017, we reduced the weight of the PET bottle by 29.6% compared to before the renewal.

Examples of lighter caps

Examples of lighter caps

Café de Crea Iced Tea: Since its relaunch in September 2016, the weight of the bottle has been reduced by 5.7-8.3% compared to the weight before the relaunch.

Examples of weight reduction in overall containers

Examples of weight reduction in overall containers

70ml Pokka Lemon 100: When the product was relaunched in February 2014, the weight of the plastic container was reduced by 15.6% compared to before the relaunch.

[Reuse] Voluntary collection and reuse of glass bottle containers

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”.

Returnable Bottle Collection Status

2017 2018 2019 2020
Sapporo Breweries 99.8% 99.6% 99.3% 102.6%
Pokka Sapporo 97.9% 98.0% 98.5% 116.5%

* Glass bottle collection volume (kg) ÷ sales volume (kg) × 100

[Recycle] Recycling of containers and packaging

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”

Ecology-bottles initiatives (Japanese)

Reuse/recycle procedure for used containers

Reuse/recycle procedure for used containers Reuse/recycle procedure for used containers

Sapporo Breweries

Use of recycled PET resin

Use of recycled PET resin

From March 2021 onward, Sapporo Breweries will gradually adopt materials made from 100% recycled PET resin for the 720ml PET bottles used in the "Polyphenol/Organic Acid to Enhance Deliciousness Series" and "Happy Wine Series". Our own "Recycled PET Resin Used" mark is displayed on the product label, and we are also considering changing to a container and packaging material that is compatible with a recycling-oriented society for other domestically manufactured wine PET bottles.

POKKA SAPPORO Food & Beverage

The adoption of Ecology Bottles

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.

Recyclable Cartons

Recyclable Cartons

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.

Initiatives for container and packaging littering prevention

No Littering Mark

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.