The Nissui Group company, Kaneko Sangyo Co., Ltd. had been using EPS (expanded polystyrene) compactors which ran on LPG gas as fuel but has adopted the 200v electrical power-type compactor (EAP-600s) from August 2017. The company set up a recycling space within its premises and installed the compactor, which is managed and operated by the company.
Generally, the grime and odor that adhere to expanded polystyrene boxes, called fish boxes, after they have been used to transport marine products, become major issues when recycling them. And in order to convert them into high-quality materials, everything else other than the polystyrene (The same material as expanded polystyrene) such as stickers must be removed.
When compacting expanded polystyrene boxes at Kaneko Sangyo, (1) as much moisture and salt are removed from the expanded polystyrene boxes as possible, and (2) tapes, stickers made of paper and other labels are all removed by hand, as pre-processing. Subsequently, the expanded polystyrene is dropped into the compactor, where it is crushed, melted, and formed into ingots (solid pieces of plastic). Through these efforts, in fiscal 2019, the volume of processed expanded polystyrene boxes totaled 2.1tons/year (Note 1). These ingots which are formed by Kaneko Sangyo and sold as valuable resources become the raw materials for plastic products, and as they are high-quality materials, they are exported, not as waste, but as “resources” to China (Note 2).
(Note 1): Kaneko Sangyo, at the same time, is also promoting the reduced use of expanded polystyrene boxes, as part of their efforts to reduce plastic use, which has resulted in the decrease in the volume of processed expanded polystyrene.
(Note 2): In December 2017, China terminated the import of soiled, waste plastics. China now only accepts high-quality plastics.
Sealord Group, Ltd., the Nissui Group company, is a New Zealand marine products company. Sealord Group had previously used plastic (polystyrene) cups internally for the employees’ coffee cups and disposed of them in landfills after use. In 2019, the company made a decision to abolish them in stages and began the switch to cups made out of environmentally-friendly materials. The EcoCups made by Ecoware NZ (Note) were adopted. The EcoCups are made out of plants rather than petroleum and may be recycled by commercial composting after use. In adopting these cups, an environment that will enable recycling by composting was prepared by installing several dedicated collection bins around the company’s premises. One example of these efforts is the switch from landfill disposal to recycling by commercial composting of all cups, i.e. the approximately 8,000 cups currently being used at the Nelson site of Sealord Group. In 2019, the volume of plastic reduction as a result of these efforts, together with the other business locations, reached approximately 1ton/year.
(Note)Ecoware NZ: An environmentally-friendly packaging company headquartered in New Zealand.
Nissui (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (NTC), the Nissui Group company, is engaged in the processing of fish including salmon/trout in Hatyai, Thailand. Nissui (Thailand) started the campaign “NTC say no plastic bag” (Say no to using plastic bags) from December 2019. This initiative aims to share knowledge on environmental problems especially those stemming from the use of plastic bags with employees and business partners and to actually cut back on their use. At the plants, the employees and vendors are being encouraged to use bags made out of natural materials rather than plastic bags. The plastic bags used in the cleaning of employee uniforms have also been switched to cloth bags. Additionally, a contest was held for handmade cloth reusable shopping bags using recycled materials.