ITOCHU Announces Smartphone Online App for Checking the Progress of Recycling Plastic Bottles as Part of a Plastic Resource Recycling Project

Demonstration Trial at a FamilyMart Store in Katsushika-ku, Tokyo from September 26 (Mon)

September 12, 2022

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter "ITOCHU"), ITOCHU Plastics Inc. (headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Hidenori Hayashi, President & CEO; hereinafter "CIPS"), FamilyMart Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Kensuke Hosomi, Representative Director and President; hereinafter "FamilyMart") and Asahi Kasei Corporation (headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Koshiro Kudo, President & Representative Director; hereinafter "Asahi Kasei") announced today that a demonstration trial of a service for tracing the progress of recycling used plastic bottles, from being placed in the recycling bin to being processed into recycled material, using a smartphone app will commence at a FamilyMart store in Katsushika Ward, Tokyo from September 26 (Mon), 2022. The trial is planned to last for about two months until November 25 (Fri) to investigate operation of the app, changes in consumer behavior, the impact in terms of promoting use of recycled plastic, and other aspects.

Overview of the demonstration trial

1. Trial store and duration

・FamilyMart store Tateishi 5-Chome (Katsushika-ku, Tokyo)
・Monday, September 26 to Friday, November 25, 2022 (plan)

2. Details of the demonstration trial

Users of the service place used plastic bottles in the dedicated recycling bin installed at the FamilyMart store (outside). When the users do so, they scan the two-dimensional code affixed to the recycling bin using their smartphone to record the number of bottles placed in the recycling bin on the smartphone app. After registration, users will be able to check what stage of recycling the plastic bottles are currently at, based on the date and time when the bottles were placed in the recycling bin. Users can check each step from the bottles' collection and transport on the day they were placed in the recycling bin until they are turned into granular pellets at the plant. The demonstration trial will investigate aspects such as how the visualization of recycling processes affects consumer behavior.

Main features that can be checked in the app

・How many bottles users placed in the recycling bin and on which dates and times
・CO2 emissions reduced by the recycling*
・Status of the plastic bottles collected during transport, plant recycling, etc.

  • *Reference values for CO2 emissions reduction when the recycling of a plastic bottle into a new bottle is compared with disposing of that bottle. Calculated as 500 ml-size plastic bottle x number of bottles. (Reference: Ministry of the Environment, "Guidelines for the Promotion of 3R Eco Point System" Chapter 6, p. 120)

App screen images (Japanese)

Depending on the number of days on which the collection of plastic bottles is registered in the app, an original character in the shape of a tree stump grows and produces flowers. Users can enjoy making the character grow and change.

Image of poster for the recycling bin

Corporate partners in this demonstration trial

Recycling chain companies:
・Meiwa Transport Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Adachi-ku, Tokyo; Tsuyoshi Ueta, President)
・Tonegawa Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Adachi-ku, Tokyo; Mitsuhiko Tonegawa, President)
・Earth Green Management Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Iida-shi, Nagano; Hidenobu Hiraguri, President)
・Far Eastern Ishizuka Green PET Corporation (headquartered in Sakai-cho, Sashima-gun, Ibaraki; Shinichi Yasuda, President)

Demonstration trial diagram

ITOCHU, CIPS, FamilyMart and Asahi Kasei will carry out a series of activities including the Trial to verify the value of traceability ensured by the digital platform and to push further ahead with the recirculation of plastic resources.