Corporate Social Responsibility

Eco-Friendly Packaging

ITO EN Ready-to-drink teas, such as Oi-Ocha and TEAS’ TEA, are packaged in plastic (Pete) bottles, which can be recycled or made into egg-packs, fiber, tote bags, clothing, furniture, carpet or other items. In fact, recycled PET bottles are even used to make the uniforms of our sales force at ITO EN in Japan.

Why Plastic?

ITO EN chose plastic bottles for our beverages because they are easier to transport and much lighter than glass, which allows us to ship more product in an individual shipping truck, resulting in savings on fuel expenses and emissions.

ITO EN Ltd uniforms made from
recycled PET bottles

Reducing the use of packaging has always been a central goal for ITO EN, and we have achieved amazing results by continuously reducing the Pete bottle’s mass. This year, our individual bottles are lighter by 0.16 g than last year. ITO EN is a certain leader in this regard, with its Pete bottle one of the lightest in the beverage industry.

ITO EN invests heavily in projects related to plastic bottle recycling, participating on a committee of beverage companies committed to recycling in Japan. The ultimate goal of the committee is that all plastic bottles and beverage cans be gathered and recycled. ITO EN’s eco-ethic is applied to product labels as well. The company is developing techniques to prevent the production of dioxins generated when packaging materials are incinerated. While tea products have until recently been packaged in chlorine-based resin films, these films have now been replaced with PETE resin films to avoid generation of dioxins upon incineration.

Cardboard boxes for packaging are environmentally friendly as well. The design simplification and reduction for printing on cardboard boxes simplifies their recycling. Some of ITO EN’s products are even packaged in cardboard boxes constructed of used tea leaves (UTL).

Cardboard boxes manufactured with used tea leaves have the same strength as "virgin" cardboard boxes, are completely recyclable and decrease the usage and need for paper. This particular process demonstrates ITO EN’s concern for the environment, not only by increasing efficiency and minimizing waste during production, but also showing a commitment to waste reduction during our products distribution stage.

Click to view ITO EN's Eco-Friendly Distribution Cycle »

ITO EN’s comprehensive Eco-friendly distribution cycle starts with its tea products packed in cardboard boxes made of Used Tea Leaves (UTL), continuing into the delivery stage by low greenhouse emission vehicles, and into the end-consumers hands, with bottles sold through ITO EN- owned vending machines. These machines are equipped with low-consumption electrical systems, some of which are CFC-free, and constructed with panels made from ITO EN’s UTL. The cycle ends with the consumer being encouraged to recycle their beverage bottles with our conveniently located, and company maintained recycling receptacles.