Reduce and reuse: Kao launches two new eco-friendly initiatives to reduce plastic waste

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Kao launches two new eco-friendly initiatives to reduce plastic waste

Related tags eco-conscious kao corp Packaging

The Kao Corporation has announced plans to accelerate expansion of its environmentally friendly Smart Holders and eliminate its use of plastic stickers on products as part of its goals to reduce plastic waste.

Come April 11, the maker of Bioré, Curél and Kanebo said it would roll-out the Smart Holders, beginning with Japan.

The Smart Holder was previously launched in 2017 and was sold mainly online. This roll-out would mark the full-scale launch of the eco-friendly container.

“By starting full-scale sale of Smart Holders in stores, we believe that we can make it easier for more consumers to access the Smart Holder and that its convenience will encourage even more widespread use of environmentally-friendly Raku-raku Eco Pack Refills,” ​said the company in a statement.

The Smart Holder functions as a dispenser and was designed to be used with Kao’s Raku-raku Eco Pack Refill, which can be fitted into the Smart Holder to eliminate the need to pour out product.

The refill packs were introduced in 2016 and were meant for high-viscosity products such as shampoo, conditioner and body wash.

They are made out of a film-type material, allowing the manufacturer to reduce its plastic use by approximately 80%.

According to Kao, the amount of CO2 emissions generated in the entire process from production to disposal is reduced by around 3%.

When used together, consumers can use up all the contents of the pack, further reducing wastage.

Eliminating stickers

In addition, Kao has vowed to remove additional plastic stickers on their products.

These attention-grabbing stickers are usually attached to products as part of the packaging and used as a marketing tool.

“Kao is aiming to completely eliminate the use of ‘eye-catching’ plastic stickers, which are attached to product packaging and used as a tool to attract consumers' interest,” ​said the company.

The firm said it would gradually phase out the use of these stickers beginning with some Bioré U body wash products, and body and bath products launched in the spring of 2020.

It noted that it hoped to completely abolish the use of such stickers by 2021 and find alternative ways to communicate with its consumers.

“Kao will also be switching over to different methods of communicating with consumers, for example by moving over to paper stickers made using FSC-certified paper when stickers are needed in order to inform consumers of how to use the product correctly.”

These are some of the new initiatives being launched as part the Kirei Lifestyle Plan, the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy, which incorporates 19 key leadership actions.

Last September, the company announced that it would be focusing its efforts on two of the actions focused on recycling and reduction.

The company said it was driven to realise its vision of a zero-waste society as it viewed plastic pollution as a ‘significant problem for society’​.

“Kao has for some time now been contributing towards the resolution of this issue by making the material used for plastic containers thinner, promoting the use of refill packs, making products more highly concentrated, and shifting over to larger-sized containers.”

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