Tetra Pak spearheads initiatives to enhance carton recycling in Japan through retailer engagement

In Japan, the retailer's storefront is a robust channel for depositing used cartons, making recycling convenient for consumers during grocery shopping. However, while chilled cartons have a collection rate of more than 50% from retailer storefronts, aseptic cartons only account for 25% of the collected volume from this channel.

Background and initiative – the need to boost aseptic carton recycling

Tetra Pak recognises the importance of addressing the disparity between the recycling rates of chilled and aseptic cartons in Japan and has diligently focused on expanding the collection network for both types of cartons while ensuring consumer convenience.

By proactively addressing this issue and collaborating with retailers and other stakeholders, the company aims to increase storefronts' acceptance and collection of aseptic cartons. Tetra Pak's focus on consumer convenience remains at the forefront of these initiatives.

Recycling station in front of retail store

Image: Collection points for cartons and other recyclables

Results - growth in Tokyo and beyond

Through Tetra Pak's efforts, many retailers in the Greater Tokyo Metropolitan area have now embraced aseptic carton collection in their carton collection boxes. This expanded network has made it more convenient for consumers to recycle aseptic cartons while grocery shopping. Furthermore, co-op involvement, which covers 60% of the nation, in aseptic carton collection showcases the positive response and growing acceptance of these recycling initiatives.

Looking forward – building on established relationships to increase recycling

Tetra Pak's longstanding involvement in carton recycling in Japan, dating back to 1984, has contributed to developing a comprehensive collection infrastructure with national reach. Technological advancements have enabled several recyclers to accept all types of cartons, streamlining the recycling process. The collaboration with paper dealers and recyclers ensures that the entire value chain is covered, further bolstering the recycling ecosystem .


Tetra Pak contacts
Ohmori Yuko
Yanagase Yuko