Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

September 5, 2012


Seven & i Retailer Introduces First Full-Circle Bottle-to-Bottle Recycling System in Stores

Keywords: Non-manufacturing industry Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

Seven & i Holdings Co., a major Japanese retail group, announced on April 16, 2012, the introduction of a full-cycle plastic bottle collection and recycling system -- starting with the installation of automatic bottle collection machines at the group's Ito-Yokado and YorkMart stores -- a joint project with TOMRA Japan, a global recycling company that originally started in Norway. This closed-loop system of recycling plastic bottles, from production to recycling to production, etc., is the first of its kind by a major Japanese retailer, and involves a partnership between a beverage manufacturer, a distributor, and a recycler.

The collection machines in the stores automatically sort out the plastic bottles dropped in them by customers, and then crush them to one-eighth their volume. The distribution company then picks them up and transports them to a recycling company, which buys them as raw material for making new bottles. Finally, the beverage manufacturer produces the drinks, fills the recycled-content bottles, and then sells them.

For each bottle dropped into the machine, customers are issued two points worth 0.2 yen (about 0.24 cents), which can then be exchanged for "nanaco" points, an electronic money system introduced by the group company.

As of April 2012, 36 stores had the machines installed, and by February 2013, the plan is to expand to about 200, which would be all of their stores in the Kanto area.

Posted: 2012/09/05 06:00:15 AM