Kao begins recycling initiative for used cosmetic bottles

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva


The beauty industry creates 120 billion packaging units each year, and according to a study, packaging is the number one contributor to plastic production, accounting for 146 million tonnes of waste annually.

Most cosmetic bottles use PET (Polyethylene terephthalate), but while it is claimed to be more environment-friendly because it’s biodegradable, it still leaves microparticles that get consumed by marine life. 

Seeking to minimise its impact on the environment, Japanese cosmetics company Kao has begun field testing of recycling used cosmetic bottles that have been collected in-store and transforming them into new bottles.

Beginning this month until July next year, the company will collect used cosmetic bottles at retail outlets run by Aeon in the Kanto region that sell Twany brand products and Color Studio cosmetics. 

Traditional cosmetic bottles that feature coloured print and design is difficult to recycle; however, with its collaboration with chemical recycling plant Japan, the company claims to produce the same quality as bottles made from virgin PET material.

In addition to expanding the range of brands using chemically recycled PET, the brand plans to increase the number of collection stations within the country.

The Japanese cosmetics company has a portfolio of over 20 leading brands worldwide, including Attack, Jergens, Biore, Kanebo, Laurier, Merries, and Molton Brown.

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.

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