The First Use of Bio-PP Food Containers in Japan at FamilyMart

June 7, 2021

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that ITOCHU, FamilyMart Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Kensuke Hosomi, Representative Director and President; hereinafter "FamilyMart")and ITOCHU PLASTICS INC. (headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Hidenori Hayashi, Representative Director and President; hereinafter "CIPS") will begin using food containers made from biomass-polypropylene which is linked to renewable resources (hereinafter “Bio-PP” or "renewable-PP") on June 8th, 2021. This is the first use of Bio-PP for food containers in Japan.*

Bio-PP provided by Borealis and Borouge, and referred to as Bornewables™ will be used to manufacture pasta meal containers that will be launched on Tuesday, June 8. The food products in the new containers will first be introduced in the Kanto area. Then the use of product packages made from Bio-PP will expand to other areas.

The developments of climate change are attracting attention in Japan and overseas, and countermeasures are urgently required. Under these circumstances, Japan has formulated a basic plan to introduce approximately two million tons of Bio-PP plastic products by 2030. In addition, the Japanese government declared that it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. In this context, businesses should explore opportunities to implement biomass plastics that would enable the achievement of environmental goals while maintaining the superior performance of plastics. Polypropylene, one of the major raw materials used for production of plastics, is strong and heat resistant. It is hard to industrialize renewable biomass polypropylene because is very difficult to produce it from biomass-based raw materials.

The Bio-PP packaging is made from second-generation raw materials such as waste and residues from the agriculture and food industries, as well as waste cooking oils.*2 The whole value chain has obtained the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC PLUS), an independent third-party certification which confirms the use of renewable materials and its traceability from the raw materials to the finished product.

In September 2020, ITOCHU announced jointly with Borealis and Borouge, that they had the strategic intent to evaluate together how to enable uptake of renewable -PP in the Japanese market. In March 2020, It embarked on the commercial production of renewable-PP packages and is now working to expand sales in other countries in Asia. This agreement has led to the first commercial production in Japan.
The new life-cycle assessment (LCA) of Borealis’ renewable PP, initiated by Borealis at its Kallo site in Belgium, shows significant greenhouse gas emissions reduction compared to virgin polypropylene (at Borealis’ gate) *3. This substantial reduction helps the value chain meet their sustainability targets, without sacrificing product quality or performance.
ITOCHU will promote applications for environmentally friendly materials including Bio-PP.

In February 2020, FamilyMart established FamilyMart Eco Vision 2050 to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society. As a part of its efforts, FamilyMart has set quantifiable medium- and long-term goals for 2030 and 2050 under three themes: the reduction of greenhouse gases (CO2 emissions), plastics measures, and the reduction of food loss.

With its message “FamilyMart, Where You Are One of the Family,” FamilyMart will ensure sustainable growth together with society by advancing sustainability activities, for example, using more containers and packaging materials made from bio-PP and changing the materials it uses to environmentally friendly materials.

CIPS has committed to reducing the fossil-based plastics used by FamilyMart by, for example, introducing side shrink packaging and thinning thickness of base films, while developing containers made from recycled PET. It promises to continue to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society by planning and developing sustainable food packaging and logistics system through close cooperation with convenience stores and food manufacturers.

ITOCHU's Brand-new Deal 2023, its medium-term management plan, includes "business transformation through the incorporation of consumer needs into products" and "continued contribution to/efforts in the SDGs" in its Basic Policies. Through the group's domestic and overseas networks, ITOCHU will create new business models and promote the realization of society that makes sustainable global development possible in the biomass plastic business.

  • *1Based on data collected by ITOCHU.
  • *2Mass balance approach employed.
    A method in which, during the process of turning raw materials into final products and the distribution process (chain of custody), raw materials with certain properties (e.g., bio-based raw materials) are mixed with raw materials that do not have the properties (e.g., fossil-based raw materials); thus, the properties are assigned to a portion of the product according to the amount of input of the raw materials with those properties.
    ( Roadmap for Bioplastics Introduction; Ministry of the Environment).
  • *3The LCA study was done by ifeu, Heidelberg for Borealis and Neste “Eco-profile of polypropylene made completely or partly with renewable feedstock via propane dehydrogenation” 2021.

Boreails Company Outline

Company name: Borealis AG
Headquarters: Wagramer Strasse 17-19, 1220 Vienna, Austria
Established: 1994
Capital: In 2020, Borealis generated EUR 6.8 billion in sales revenue and a net profit of EUR 589 million
Number of employees: Borealis employs 6,900 employees and operates in over 120 countries (as of February 28, 2021)
Representative: Thomas Gangl, Chief Executive Officer

Borouge Company Outline

Company name: Borouge
Headquarters: Abu Dhabi Polymers Co Ltd (Borouge) address: Borouge Tower,
Shaikh Khalifa Energy Complex, Corniche Road, P O Box 6925, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Borouge Pte Ltd address: 1 George Street, #18-01, Singapore 049145
Established: 1998
Number of employees: More than 3,000

● ITOCHU launched EQUALLY BEAUTIFUL., It’s the medium for presenting eco-friendly efforts in many fields, including fashion initiatives, environmentally friendly materials initiatives, and initiatives to achieve sustainable lifestyles.