Kirin Beverage Company Limited will start introducing a new environmentally-friendly recycling box with a new function, developed as an industry-wide specification by the National Soft Drink Federation and the Japan Automatic Vending Association. The introduction of these boxes will start in October, mainly in outdoor locations where foreign objects are often mixed in.
Background to the introduction of the new recycling boxes
In Japan, recycling boxes are installed next to vending machines for the purpose of collecting empty containers of soft drinks sold from vending machines. Foreign objects other than empty containers account for about 30% of the containers. This is a major barrier to container recycling, as well as increasing the burden of empty container collection operations and disposal costs.
In addition, the soft drinks industry has declared that it aims to achieve 100% effective use of PET bottles by 2030 and a bottle-to-bottle ratio of at least 50% by 2030. To achieve these targets, the challenges are to ensure the collection of used plastic bottles and to improve the quality of these bottles.
The soft drinks industry has developed recycling box shapes and other features to reduce foreign matter contamination in order to solve these issues, and conducted several demonstration tests in various Prefectures. As a result, a reduction of approximately 30 to 50 per cent in the proportion of foreign objects was confirmed. In response to the reduction effects of these demonstration tests, improvements were made to the 2021 demonstration test model, which was then developed and decided upon as a new functional recycling box with industry-unified specifications.
Specifications of the new functional recycling box
- The empty container slot is designed to face downwards. The inlet is designed at an angle and height that is difficult to see, and the diameter of the inlet prevents foreign objects other than PET bottles to be collected, thereby deterring foreign objects from being thrown in.
- Realisation in an orange colour design that does not look like a rubbish bin.
- Stickers are displayed in the space next to the inlet to raise awareness of the importance of deterring foreign objects.
From October to December 2022, among the recycling bins next to vending machines managed by subsidiaries that sell soft drinks from vending machines in various areas in Japan, Kirin will first install 1,000 new-function recycling bins at existing outdoor locations, where foreign objects are particularly likely to be mixed in.