Oji Holdings and Nihon Tetra Pak K.K. have joined forces to pioneer Japan’s first recycling system specifically for aseptic carton packages, a significant step towards achieving a circular economy for paper resources in the country.

This innovative initiative aims to recycle paper packages and paper cups laminated with polyethylene for chilled products into corrugated board, thereby reducing waste and promoting sustainability.

The new recycling system

The newly established recycling system collects aseptic carton packages from various sources, including retail and municipal collections, as well as waste paper generated from packaging factories.

These materials are then recycled into corrugated board raw materials at Oji Group’s factories through material recycling.

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The recycled corrugated board will be used not only as collection boxes for carton packages but also aims to be utilised in the food and beverage industry.

Environmental impact and goals

Currently, the majority of aseptic carton packages in Japan are disposed of through incineration, with only a small fraction being recycled into paper products.

This low recycling rate poses a significant challenge, and there is a pressing need for more effective recycling solutions.

The initiative supports the realisation of a circular economy and aids in achieving net-zero emissions at food and beverage company factories.

Oji Group aims to achieve a paper recycling rate of more than 70% as part of its ‘Environmental Vision 2050’ and ‘Environmental Action Goals 2030.’

Tetra Pak has also set a goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions throughout its value chain by 2050.

“Although aseptic carton packages have been recycled into cardboard overseas, this is the first attempt to do so in Japan. We hope that the new end product will expand access to recycling of aseptic carton packages. In addition, the use of such cardboard in the food and beverage industry will enable the realisation of an even more low-carbon and recycling-orientated society,” said Yuko Ohmori, sustainability director, Nihon Tetra Pak K.K.

The establishment of this recycling system is a significant milestone in Japan’s efforts to promote sustainability and reduce waste.

By collaborating with Tetra Pak, Oji Holdings Corporation is leading the way towards a more circular economy for paper resources.