Japan Partnership for Circular Economy

Japan Partnership for Circular Economy


Used paper food package recycling project "Let's Recycle Paper Cups"

[Company / organization] Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. Hamamatsu Green Wave Co.,Ltd. 特定非営利活動法人 エコライフはままつ Hamamatsu City

Project members

Organizer: Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.

Co-organizer: Hamamatsu Green Wave Co., Ltd.

Planning and operation: NPO Ecolife Hamamatsu

Support: City of Hamamatsu

Start date of event

April 1, 2021

Outline of activity and roles of members

Paper food packages (paper beverage cups and various types of paper food packages) have often been deemed unsuitable for recycling because they are paper-plastic composite materials, or because they are dirty or wet from food residues, and have been disposed of as waste after use. We are working to raise consumer awareness of recycling by demonstrating that—with appropriate washing and sorting—these packages can also be recycled as resources and build a social system that enables used paper food packages to be used as new resources. In this way we are aiming to reduce combustible waste, thoroughly and effectively utilize forest resources, and promote the fixation of CO2.

As one helping hand in the city of Hamamatsu's efforts to reduce combustible waste, at the Ekohama environmental awareness facility in Hamamatsu, Ecolife Hamamatsu is working to raise awareness among children for collecting and recycling paper food packages (limited to ice cream and yogurt packages and paper beverage cups) after use. Citizens are encouraged to wash and dry these items themselves to prepare them for collection and place them in dedicated collection boxes installed at facilities managed by Hamamatsu Green Wave, under contract from the city of Hamamatsu. In this way, the initiative promotes sorting and collection of used paper food packages for recycling into paper resources.After collection, the recovered materials are delivered to Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. The paper parts are recycled as a raw material for paperboard, and the plastic parts are used as a heat energy source for paperboard production.


Currently, the used paper food packages being recycled under this initiative are discarded as waste. We are verifying from the elementary point of recycling as to whether or not consumers can show understanding and cooperate with these recycling efforts.The goal is for this activity—which begins in Hamamatsu—to be accepted by many people and by society, expand the range of collection locations and items being collected while expanding to neighboring areas, and ultimately, from the viewpoint of economic rationality, to achieve the realization of a society in which used paper food packages in general are widely distributed and recycled as waste paper resources.