ITOCHU Introduces Packing Materials Using 100% Nature-Derived, Biodegradable Resins

Utilization of Proteins (Casein) Contained in Cow Milk Helps to Reduce Plastics Use

May 2, 2022

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it collaborated with Ajinomoto Co., Inc. (headquartered in Chuo-ku, Tokyo; Taro Fujie, President and CEO; hereinafter “Ajinomoto”), TOYO INK CO., LTD. (headquartered in Chuo-ku, Tokyo; Masato Yanagi, President and Representative Director; hereinafter “TOYO INK”) and ITOCHU PLASTICS INC. (headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Hidenori Hayashi, President and CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU PLASTICS”) to develop an eco-friendly paper packing material with a heat sealing agent*1 consisting of nature-derived, biodegradable resins produced by Lactips, a bio startup (headquartered in France; Marie-Helene Gramatikoff, CEO). The patent for the new packing material is currently pending. Recently, the packing material has been introduced for use in the outer package of the Ajinomoto’s PAL SWEET® SLIM UP SUGAR® (20sticks per pack). The package is being gradually replaced with the new package starting with shipments in mid-April 2022.

Now, measures are urgently being taken in Japan and overseas against plastic waste, marine plastics, global warming and other issues. In this context, measures to reduce the quantity of petroleum-derived plastics, curb GHG emissions and prevent marine pollution resulting from the outflow of plastic waste are drawing attention.
In 2019, ITOCHU concluded an agreement with Lactips, the company that manufactures Lactips nature-derived resins that are biodegradable in many different environments (hereinafter “Lactips resins”) for the distribution of the products in Japan and has extensively worked on development of applications for the products.
Lactips resins have excellent biodegradability, water solubility, gas barrier properties and heat-sealing properties. Casein, the main raw material for Lactips resins, is a by-product of the manufacturing and processing of dairy products from raw milk enabling the Lactips resins to be characterized by their upcycling of raw materials that would otherwise mostly be wasted. The use of Lactips resins, which are processable in many different processes like conventional plastics, is expected to contribute to the reduction of the use of plastic and of waste overall. Going forward, we will explore extensive applications for the products in Japan, such as the development of packing materials for food, toiletries, daily necessities and other items.

The Basic Policies of ITOCHU's medium-term management plan include statements including ITOCHU's dedication to "realizing business transformation by shifting to a market-oriented perspective" and "enhancing our contribution to and engagement with the SDGs through business activities." In the domain of the bioplastics business, we will utilize the ITOCHU Group’s domestic and international networks and work on the development of new raw materials and their applications in an effort to orient society toward the sustainable growth of the world.

  • *1A material for thermally making a packing material adhesive without using a conventional adhesive. Heat sealing agents are extensively used to melt and attach materials by applying a certain amount of heat and pressure when manufacturing a packing material.

Product Overview

Product name PAL SWEET® SLIM UP SUGAR® (20sticks per pack)
Net volume 32g
Launch date/area Starting from mid-April 2022, the packages will be gradually replaced by package using outer materials made from paper and Lactips resins. (nationwide)
Distributor Ajinomoto Co., Inc.

Overview of Lactips

Corporate name Lactips
Head office ZI Les Fraries 350 rue de l’industrie, 42740 Saint-Paul-en-Jarez
Established 2014
Representative Co-founder & CEO of Lactips, Marie-Helene Gramatikoff

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.