Realization of Containers and Packaging for a Recycling-Oriented Society

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 expand the reduction (weight reduction and simplification) of containers and packaging
  • 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.

Containers and 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 to ensure that 100 percent of our containers and packaging are suitable for a recycling society

Sapporo Breweries Past Efforts

[Reduce] Weight Reduction of Containers and Packaging

Sapporo Breweries

Expansion of Lightweight Aluminum Can Lids

lightweight aluminum can lids

Sapporo Breweries is expanding its use of lightweight aluminum can lids for beer-tasting products*1 and RTD*2 products.
The shape of the cans is modified and beads are embossed*3 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” refer to beverages that taste of beer; the category includes beer, happoshu, and non-alcohol beer-flavored products.
*2 RTD means ready to drink, a low-alcohol beverage that can be drunk straight from the bottle.
*3 “Embossed beads” refer to beads embossed on the surface of the can lids.

Approach to paper packaging materials

We have adopted "short flap corrugated fiberboard," which reduces the area of paper used by up to 2.8% by shortening the side flaps by 10 mm each at the top and bottom. This reduction in paper usage will reduce CO2 emissions by 149 tons per year (based on actual sales in 2021).

Approach to Paper Packaging Materials

Adoption of lightweight bottles

Adoption of lightweight bottles

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

"Next-Generation Container and Packaging Development Project" eco-friendly project

eco friendly

Sapporo Breweries has launched the "eco-friendly" project for next-generation container and packaging development, which aims to develop environmentally conscious packaging with a significant reduction in paper usage. Through proactive demonstration experiments and communication with customers through "small try," we aim to create and commercialize the next generation of container and packaging one after another.

The current project portfolio as of December 2023 is shown below, and we also plan to expand to the fourth and subsequent phases in the future.

Product Name Features Reduction in paper / plastic usage Reduction in CO2 emissions from material manufacturing
First Release Improved 6-can pack Packaging with technology that locks the can lid to maintain hold and shortened top and side widths, reducing paper use by approximately 19.6% Improved 6-can pack 990 tons/year paper reduction 600 tons-CO2/year
Second Release Eco Hat Packaging that allows cans to be held at the top while showing the can body design, reducing paper usage by approximately 68% Eco Hat 3,450 tons/year paper reduction 1,450 tons-CO2/year
Third Release 100% paper-based cap seals*1 for beer keg products Use of specially-processed and 100% paper-based cap seals in place of partially plastic caps that were used for beer kegs for restaurants ビール樽製品に使用する紙基材100%キャップシール 5 tons/year plastic reduction*2 87% reduction

*1 Cap seals made from paper only, excluding printing-related functional additives and design inks

*2 Assuming that all keg products handled by Sapporo Breweries (actual volume in 2022) are switched from conventional partially plastic caps to the 100% paper-based cap seals

[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

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Sapporo Breweries 99.6% 99.3% 102.6% 100.5% 101.6%
Pokka Sapporo 98.0% 98.5% 116.5% 92.4% 97.4%

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

[Recycle] Recycling of Containers and Packaging

Sapporo Breweries and POKKA SAPPORO Food & Beverage 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

Sapporo Breweries has adopted materials made from recycled PET resin for the PET bottles used in its products such as "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.

* For 720ml PET bottles, adopted materials made from 100% recycled PET resin from March 2021 onward
* For large-volume PET bottles (1.5L, 1.8L), adopted materials made by using 20% recycled PET resin from September 2021 onward, and increased the ratio of recycled PET resin to 30% from June 2022

POKKA SAPPORO Food & Beverage

Promoting the use of recycled raw materials in PET bottles

POKKA SAPPORO Food & Beverage is promoting efforts to achieve the goal of using 50% recycled materials for PET bottles of its products by 2030.

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. As the glass is recycled repeatedly, it is an environmentally friendly bottle designed to conserve resources, save energy, and reduce waste.

Recyclable cartons

Recyclable Cartons

POKKA SAPPORO Food & Beverage 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 it contains no aluminum or other metals, it is an environmentally friendly product that can be cut open after drinking, 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.

Initiatives for Container and Packaging Littering Prevention

No Littering Mark

Sapporo Breweries and POKKA SAPPORO Food & Beverage 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 in and been conducting various initiatives of the Beverage Industry Environment Beautification Association.