Japan Partnership for Circular Economy

Japan Partnership for Circular Economy


Making New Bottles from Used Bottles Collaboration by consumers, local governments, and companies

[Company / organization] Unilever Japan Kao CorporationVeolia Japan Group The Procter&Gamble Company of Japan Limited Lion Corporation

Members, Roles and Key Points in Collaboration

<Members and Roles>

Unilever Japan, Kao, P&G Japan, Lion

・Explore mechanism to sort/collect used containers and verify horizontal recycling technology for transforming used bottles into new bottles

・Engage in promotional activities, for example, by actively delivering messages in CLOMA (Clean Ocean Material Alliance)*

*A platform aimed at solving marine plastic waste by strengthening cross-industry collaboration among a wide range of stakeholders and by accelerating innovation

Veolia Japan Group

・Sort, wash and shred collected plastic containers and transform them into recycled material

・Ensure traceability in recycling process

Higashi-Yamato City, Joso City, Komae City

・Offer places to install collection boxes and collect used containers

・Communicate to the citizens

<Key Points in Collaboration>

・Collaboration among companies of the same industry

・Collaboration between companies of arterial and venous industries

・Collaboration among consumers, local governments and business enterprises


June 1, 2021

Background and Project Description


In Japan, many used containers of personal and home care products are not being recycled into new containers. This is due to various reasons, e.g. different manufacturers are using different types of plastic materials, absence of mechanism to sort and collect used plastic containers by material type and the lack of technology to recycle while preventing degradation in plastic quality. In response to this situation, Unilever Japan and Kao have agreed to launch a collaborative initiative, that goes beyond the individual corporate framework, to create a mechanism for horizontal recycling in order to transform used bottles of personal and home care products into new bottles. As part of this initiative, ""a Collaborative Plastic Recycling Program"" for collecting and recycling used bottles, has been launched with the cooperation of Higashi-Yamato City, Tokyo. The city has signed a collaborative agreement with Unilever Japan and is known for its recycling initiatives. Veolia Japan Group endorses and takes part in this project as a recycler. 

<Project Description>

・Collection boxes have been installed at 10 locations within Higashi-Yamato City, Tokyo, to collect used bottles that have been washed and dried after use in households  

・Collected bottles are then delivered to the recycler’s (Veolia’s) plant where they are sorted, washed and processed. Unilever and Kao then use the plastic in verification testing of horizontal recycling technologies to transform used bottles into new bottles

<Expansion of cooperation / horizontal expansion>

・ In December 2021, this project was selected as a demonstration project for the ""Reiwa 3rd Innovative Technology / Business Model Promotion Project"" in Tokyo.

・ Taking this opportunity, P & G Japan GK and Lion Corporation newly participated and expanded and developped into a joint demonstration project of the four companies.

・ In the plce for field trial, collection of containers started in Joso City, Ibaraki Prefecture from September 2021 and in Komae City, Tokyo from November 2021.


・To create a mechanism for sorting and collecting used bottles in a way that makes it easy for consumers to participate while being commercially sustainable  

・To contribute to developing a guideline for containers of personal and home care products based on the acquired knowhow that could be shared and used across different companies and industries

Links introducing the above initiatives

Unilever Japan Press Release



Kao Press Release



Veolia Japan Group Press Release



Tokyo Metropolitan Government Press Release