Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

February 10, 2023

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Finalizes Agreement with Naruto City and Toyota Tsusho Corporation to Promote Horizontal Recycling of PET bottles

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Otsuka) has finalized a collaborative agreement with Naruto City (Tokushima Prefecture, Japan; Mayor: Michihiko Izumi) and Toyota Tsusho Corporation (Head office: Nagoya, Japan; President: Ichiro Kashitani) aiming to contribute to realization of a sustainable society through promotion of horizontal "bottle-to-bottle" recycling of PET bottles. The agreement was finalized on February 9, 2023.

■Objectives of Collaboration
  1. 1Used PET bottles collected from the municipality will be recycled as resin for production of PET bottles with the aim of promoting Japan-based bottle-to-bottle resource circulation (horizontal recycling).
  2. 2The three participating entities will collaborate for collection, manufacturing, and sales, aiming to promote effective circulation of resources and contribute to the realization of a sustainable environment, economy, and society.
  3. 3This new approach to resource recycling will be launched in Naruto City, Japan, where Otsuka was founded, in order to contribute to achieving a circular economy*1, identified as a material issue in the environmental policies adopted by the Otsuka group of companies.

From the perspectives of limiting use of petroleum-based materials and promoting resource circulation, the soft drink industry*2 is working to develop horizontal bottle-to-bottle recycling, in which used PET bottles are reproduced as PET bottles for re-use. Previously, PET bottles discarded by households have been recycled as food packaging trays, textiles, and other items, while bottles that didn't meet the quality requirements for recycling were incinerated.

However, recent technological innovations have made it possible to create high quality recycled PET material from used PET bottles, leading to increased adoption of horizontal bottle-to-bottle recycling initiatives. With this technology, semi-permanent recycling of PET bottles becomes a possibility. Resulting reductions in consumption of petroleum-based resources and decreased CO2 emissions are expected to reduce the overall environmental impact of business activities. .

With achievement of a circular economy defined as one of the material issues addressed by the Otsuka group's environmental policy, the Otsuka Group Plastic Policy*3 was formulated with the aim of developing containers and packaging suitable for a sustainable society. In collaboration with stakeholders, Otsuka group companies are engaged in various efforts to achieve environmental goals*4.

Through collection of used PET bottles for production of PET bottles, this collaborative agreement represents a yet another step toward realization of a sustainable society.

After launching this initiative in Naruto City, the birthplace of the Otsuka group of companies, Otsuka will continue to develop new initiatives to achieve a circular economy.

*1 Use of sustainable materials
*2 Japan Soft Drink Association:
*3 Otsuka Group Plastic Policy:
*4 Otsuka Group Environmental Vision:

* Otsuka Group's Environmental Policy:
* Otsuka Group Plastic Policy:

Otsuka Group Plastic Policy

Fundamental Concept
PET bottles comprise the majority of plastic containers and packaging used for consumer products by our group companies. For this reason, we believe that by promoting PET bottle recycling, we can reduce our reliance on fossil fuel and thereby contribute to environmental conservation. Our plan is to use PET bottles manufactured from recycled and plant-based materials and increase the percentage of such sustainable resource use in our production processes globally to 100% by 2030 and by 2050, we aim to eliminate the use of petroleum-based raw materials in all consumer products.

▶ Our Vision for 2050

For our entire line of consumer products, we will do our best to use packaging that supports a sustainable society:

  • No use of plastics made from petroleum-based materials
  • Promote use of recycled, plant-based, and biodegradable materials
  • Promote use of reusable packaging
▶ Our Goal for 2030
  • Achieve a 100 percent or higher content of recycled and plant-based materials in our PET bottles.
  • Introduce alternative packaging (for example, paper) and increase the use of cans for our drink products.
  • Step up the promotion of drink bottle recycling by introducing reusable packaging through a zero-waste sales and circular distribution model, which also includes the promotion of using sports bottles for our powder products.
  • We will promote the use of alternative packaging and concurrently pursue using more recyclable materials for drink containers.
  • To advance PET material recycling, it is essential to recycle PET bottles for use as raw material. Together with our various stakeholders, we will advance our global efforts on proper collection and recycling of used PET bottles.

Revised July 2022