Seven & i Holdings is working with cooperation from customers and business partners to reduce waste from packaging materials used for supplying products and to recycle packaging after customers have used it.
At IY, YB, and York Mart, we have devised sales methods for fresh food and delicatessen items that reduce the use of containers and packaging, such as selling by weight or selling individual loose items. At our delicatessen sales areas, we are increasingly using paper bags rather than plastic containers for selling items such as croquettes and fried chicken. In other areas, some fresh meat sales areas have adopted the method of packing meat for sale in plastic bags without a polystyrene tray.
Seven & i Holdings promotes the reduced use of disposable plastic bags by asking customers whether they need a bag at the register and displaying posters and POP signs, and by holding events to encourage customers to bring their own shopping bags when shopping at stores. Moreover, IY has discontinued the free distribution of plastic bags on the food floors of all its stores and YB has followed suit at around 90% of its stores.
Plastic Bag Turndown Rate (Food Floors)
IY, YB, and York Mart have had automatic PET bottle collection machines installed at stores since 2012. Because PET bottles inserted into the machines undergo an automatic process of foreign-matter removal and volume-reduction (by either compression or crushing), large volumes of bottles for recycling can be sent to recycling plants on each occasion, which reduces the delivery frequency from stores. Moreover, by utilizing Seven & i Holdings logistics routes, more efficient transportation is possible and the volume of CO2 emissions resulting from the operations can be reduced.
Some of the collected PET bottles are made into new PET bottles for the domestic market. This "closed-loop recycling" system of recycling PET bottles into new PET bottles is the first attempt by a major retail chain in Japan to be implemented on such a large scale. As of the end of February 2016, collection machines have been installed in 314 stores across the three companies, and approximately 4,000 tons of PET bottles have been collected.
We are promoting an initiative to recycle material from PET bottles recovered at stores and use it in packaging for Seven Premium private brand products. Moreover, we have printed a note explaining the process from recovery to recycling on the product packaging.
In December 2015, a 7-Eleven store in Koto-ku, Tokyo, became the first convenience store to install an automatic PET bottle collection machine as part of a trial demonstration by the Ministry of the Environment.
PET Bottle Recycling System Using an Automatic Collection Machine