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Waste Reduction and RecyclingWaste Reduction and Recycling

Initiatives to Reduce Food Loss and Waste

Some 800 million people around the world suffer hunger, while some 1.3 billion tons of food products, or around 30% of the world's food consumption, goes to waste.
In Japan, around 5.7 million tons of food products are wasted, which includes products that go unsold or reach their expiry date and leftovers. This means that food equivalent to one bowl (approx. 124g) for every Japanese person is thrown out every day. Japan's food self-sufficiency rate currently sits at around 38%, with most of its food needs dependent upon imports. Yet, a large amount of the food Japanese people eat goes to waste.
Kagome endorses Sustainable Development Goal 12 "By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses." We have also established this as our own goal and toward this end we are working to reduce food loss by improving the accuracy of production volume, eliminating quality defects, developing products with longer use-by dates, labeling use-by dates with year and month, and utilizing food banks.

Food waste equivalent to one bowl
Food waste equivalent to one bowl

Initiatives for Month and Year Labeling of Use-by Dates

In October 2020, we began steadily changing product date labeling from day, month and year to month and year focusing on consumer beverage products (cans and PET bottles) with a best-before period of 360 days or more, in order to reduce food loss and mitigate burdens placed on distributors, including logistics providers, warehouses and retailers.

Products subject to year and month labeling
Products subject to year and month labeling

Controlling Food Waste and Recycling: Compliance with the Food Recycling Act

Japan's Act on the Promotion of Recycling and Related Activities for Treatment of Cyclical Food Resources (Food Recycling Act) makes it mandatory for food-related business operators to control the emission of food waste and others and also to promote effective use (recycling) of such waste as a resource. The Food Recycling Act establishes a target recycling rate of 95% for food manufacturers.
In response, Kagome has been promoting recycling stipulated in the Food Recycling Act in the areas of plant residue and waste products by increasing sorting of waste and selecting disposal service providers capable of recycling.

Initiatives for Plastics Recycling

Kagome Policy on Plastics

In recent years, plastics in our oceans have become threat to the survival of marine life and they can also negatively affect human health as well. Kagome recognizes that we must address this worldwide environmental issue urgently.
Kagome is set to continue using plastics appropriately as a beneficial material. In 2020, we established the Kagome Policy on Plastics in order to prevent plastic pollution and contribute to recycling efforts.
Following this policy, we are working to reduce the use of plastics, source alternative materials, and recycle.

Kagome Policy on Plastics
  • 1.Kagome will eliminate the excessive use of plastics in product containers and reduce its overall use of plastics.
    Kagome has reduced the weight of its tomato ketchup bottles and PET bottles, and going forward it will continue to reduce its use of plastics.
  • 2.Kagome will curtail the use of new plastics made from petroleum and promote a shift to recycled or plant-derived materials that make resource recycling possible. Based on this, Kagome has established the following two targets.
    • (1) Kagome will eliminate its use of straws made from petroleum-derived materials for its paper beverage packs and shift to recyclable materials (plant-derived or paper materials) by 2030.
    • (2) Kagome will use recycled or plant-derived materials for at least 50% of its beverage PET bottles by 2030.
  • 3.Kagome will promote the recycling of wastes including plastic and continually achieve net zero emissions* at its plants.
    *Kagome defines net zero emissions as a waste recycling rate of at least 99%.
  • 4.Kagome will actively conduct environmental clean-up activities led by its business sites nationwide along shorelines and rivers in order to raise awareness about stopping littering of plastic containers.

Using 100% Recycled Materials for PET Bottles

As one of the targets in the Kagome Policy on Plastics, we will use recycled or plant-derived materials for at least 50% of beverage PET bottles by 2030.
In September 2020, we launched a PET bottle made of 100% recycled PET resin materials from used PET bottles for use in some of our PET bottle products.

Endorsement of the JSDA's "Declaration of 50% Bottle-to-Bottle by 2030"

"Bottle-to-bottle recycling," where used PET bottles are recycled into PET bottles, is considered to be a form of recycling with fewer environmental impacts because the same bottle can be recycled multiple times.
In April 2021, the Japan Soft Drink Association (JSDA), which Kagome belongs to, announced a target to increase this bottle-to-bottle recycling rate to 50% or higher by 2030.
Kagome is actively working on bottle-to-bottle recycling under this campaign together with the industry and container manufacturers.

Initiatives for Net Zero Emissions

Recycling Center

Kagome has established a recycling center on the premises of each plant to recycle by-products generated in the production process.
For example, at Fujimi Plant, we painstakingly separate ingredient containers such as drum cans and plastic containers, as well as scrap metal and other materials, into as many as 63 items in 19 different categories. We store them in the recycling center as valuable recyclable materials until collected by the disposal service providers. In addition, the stored waste at recycling centers is highly visible from the outside. Therefore we ensure that it is separated and arranged properly.

Recycling center of Nasu Plant
Recycling center of Nasu Plant
Waste being separated at Fujimi Plant
Waste being separated at Fujimi Plant

Achievement and Maintenance of Zero Emissions

Kagome does not waste agricultural products as ingredients, and strives to reduce and recycle all by-products. In FY2001, we achieved a 100% recycling rate for vegetable-derived by-products and sludge and have been working to maintain this ever since.
In FY2005, we achieved zero emissions* at six of our plants. This has been maintained, except in FY2011 and FY2012 when we were affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
*Based on Kagome's own standards, achievement of zero emissions is defined as achieving a recycling rate of by-products at 99% or higher.

Management of Hazardous Waste

Kagome's production activities use a number of chemical substances including cleaning agents, disinfectants, analysis reagents, and fuels, among others. When disposing of these substances or releasing them into the atmosphere and to prevent leakage during storage or use, we conduct appropriate management and closely follow relevant laws and regulations to ensure they do not pollute the environment or adversely affect people's health.
From 2019 to 2021, there were no serious environmental accidents or violations involving leakage of the above substances or readings above regulatory standards.

Trends in Hazardous Waste Emissions
Unit 2019 2020 2021
Industrial waste Wastewater and sludge (*1) t 2,301 2,223 2,604
Waste oil t 11 4 38
Waste acid (*2) t 5.8 3.1 3.1
Waste alkali (*2) t 2.0 1.9 0.4
Release into atmosphere NOx t 10.8 10.0 10.1
SOx t 0.1 0.1 0.1
Chemical substances (*3) kg 0.7 1.3 1.5

*1 Wastewater and sludge is recycled by converting it all to fertilizer.
*2 The notation of waste acid and waste alkali values (fiscal 2019, fiscal 2020) has been revised.
*3 Amounts of Class 1 Designated Chemical Substances filed under the PRTR Act. Emissions of hexane, toluene, and benzene associated with the use of gasoline for forklifts.

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