ITOCHU Announces Development of Garbage Bag Made From Marine Debris

November 26, 2020

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yoshihisa Suzuki, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that ITOCHU and Sanipak Company Of Japan, Ltd. (headquartered in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; Mitsuharu Inoue, President & COO, hereinafter “Sanipak Japan”), our subsidiary and Japan’s largest garbage bag maker developed the world’s first*1 garbage bag including raw materials made from marine debris.*2

In recent years, the problem of marine debris has been attracting attention In Japan and abroad, and countermeasures are urgently needed. It is estimated that some 20,000 m3 of marine debris per year are washed ashore on the coastline of the island of Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture, considered the island that has the largest volume of marine debris in Japan. Hundreds of millions of yen are spent every year to collect the debris, and it is impossible to collect it all. It is a serious social issue. Some of the collected marine plastic waste is recycled into oil, but much of it is deposited in landfills. Tsushima city is working to facilitate the recycled use of marine plastic debris as a city of the future focused on the SDGs.

ITOCHU believes that marine debris is a significant social challenge and has been engaging in material recycling businesses recycling marine debris and turning it into products that are commercialized. In cooperation with Tsushima city, we have succeeded in the recycling. In addition, Sanipak Japan, leveraging the knowledge and technology it possesses as Japan’s largest garbage bag maker, has developed the world’s first1 garbage bag made in part with raw materials made from marine debris.
ITOCHU and Sanipak Japan plan to provide some of these new garbage bags free of charge to Tsushima city and other areas that need garbage cleaning activities on their coastlines, and will establish a recycling economy-oriented business model to resolve the problem of marine debris that society faces. We believe that this activity, which also raises awareness of marine debris, will lead to the reduction of marine debris and a reduction of the disposal expenses of Tsushima city.

ITOCHU positions ESG as a key focus in the facilitation of its businesses. This combination of recycling technology gained through product commercialization with the ITOCHU Group’s network in Japan and abroad, we will create a new business model in the field of recycling and pursue the establishment of a recycling-oriented society and the sustainable development of the world.

  • *1According to research by ITOCHU
  • *2Debris that has already flowed into the marine environment

Outline of Sanipak Japan

Company name Sanipak Company Of Japan, Ltd.
Representative Mitsuharu Inoue
Location of head office 25-5 Hatagaya 1-chome,
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Business outline Manufacturing and sale of polyethylene

Marine debris washed ashore on the coastline of Tsushima

Illustration of the product