Pure Beauty

Kao accelerates sustainability initiatives to achieve plastic-free by 2050

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 6-Jun-2023

As part of its sustainability goals, Kao created a new production method which allows the company to use film recycled from used refill packs for new product packaging

Japanese beauty group Kao Corporation has unveiled its new sustainability initiatives to achieve zero plastic packaging waste by 2040 and negative waste by 2050.

The owner of John Frieda and Molton Brown said it will hasten its plans to phase out fossil-based plastic packaging by scaling up its use of recycled material.

Thinner containers and packaging, along with increased packaging capacity and higher concentrated products will be a priority, Kao claimed.

The business will also promote reuse by offering refills and replacement products, and work on designing packaging made from a single material to make recycling easier.

These new sustainable initiatives will be targeted at the consumer goods company’s business sectors in Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa (AEMEA).

“Over the past years, Kao has been particularly successful in reducing the amount of plastic used compared to original packaging by offering refill and replacement products,” the company said in a statement.

“Together with more compressed products, these have globally accounted for a reduction rate of 79% vs the original packs.”

Kao has also created its new film-to-film recycling technology, which allows the company to use the films recycled from used refill packs to create new product packaging.

The first product with the newly developed recycled material launched in Japan at the end of May, and Kao aims to bring new skus using the technology to the Japanese market first.

In April 2023, Kao Corporation created a new pan-regional organisation structure for its Functions and Operations business.

The move is part of the Japanese beauty company’s plans to “further strengthen'' its business growth in the AEMEA regions.

“[It will] better support the business, fuel growth for all sectors, and create a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace for all its employees,” Kao said at the time.

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