Approach to Resource Conservation and Circulation

The problem of environmental pollution has been growing on a global scale. A report by the World Economic Forum stated that by 2050 there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish. We at the Shionogi Group are striving to restrict waste generation and reuse and recycle resources.

We are also promoting the responsible disposal of plastics and implementing measures to reduce the amount of plastics used for our products. 

Biomass bottles

In 2020, we adopted the use of biomass bottles (plant-derived polyethylene bottles) for the new product Cinal EX Pro chewable tablets.

We have already been using biomass bottles f or Cymbalta, Irbetan, and Pirespa. Biomass bottles are packaging containers made of polyethylene derived from materials left over in sugarcane processing. By switching from conventional petroleum-derived polyethylene bottles to biomass bottles, we can reduce CO2 emissions, also conserving fossil fuel resources (6.3 tons-CO2 reduced in FY2020).

Since our biomass bottles are more than 90% made of sugar cane-derived polyethylene, they conform to the standards established by the Japan BioPlastics Association for biomass plastic identification labeling (the corresponding product containers bear the label).

We are currently conducting a technical study to expand the use of biomass polyethylene to other product containers.

 Cinal EX Pro chewable tablets

Biomass plastic identification labeling

Biomass plastic products are those that contain organic (such as plant-derived) materials in excess of a specified percentage as their plastic component. The Japan BioPlastics Association certifies products that meet the criteria and permits them to bear the label.

Strategies for the reuse and recycling of plastic waste

3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) initiative concerning containers and packaging materials

By FY2019, we completed the measures summarized in the table below.

For “Reduce,” the volume of plastic we used dropped by 3.3 tons in FY2020.

Measures Description Products concerned
Reduce Change of packaging materials used for delivery of products in mail order business (from plastic to paper) All healthcare goods through Shionogi Healthcare Mail-order Service
Change of material of trays (from plastic to paper) All drugs provided in ampoules, vials and tubes
Change of thickness of eye drop containers (made thinner) All eye drops
Change of thickness of PTP packaging materials (made thinner) Flomox etc.
Discontinuation of use of plastic cushioning materials for bottles Irbetan etc.



Inscription of plastic container/packaging material identification marks

All products
Adoption of mechanically recycled PET film Intuniv
Renewable Adoption of biomass bottles (plant-derived polyethylene bottles) Cymbalta, Irbetan, Pirespa, Cinal EX Pro chewable tablets.

Initiatives by Shionogi Healthcare Co., Ltd.

In FY2019, Shionogi Healthcare Co., Ltd. began reviewing and modifying the materials used for the delivery of goods in mail order business. Through a thorough switch from plastic to paper, we have become even more environment-friendly. This also frees customers from the chore of separating the packaging materials into different types for reuse and recycling.

We will further promote efforts to remove plastic by using pulp molds (paper) as packaging materials for new products scheduled to be released this term.

Change cushioning material from plastic to paper

Mechanically recycled PET film

Shionogi uses mechanically recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) film in the packaging (aluminum bags) of Intuniv.

Mechanically recycled PET film derives from used PET bottles that undergo several steps: selection, crushing, cleansing, and high-temperature decompression.

The replacement of virgin PET film in the outermost layer of the aluminum bags with mechanically recycled PET film results in reduced CO2 emissions and fossil fuel conservation while maintaining the quality of the packaged products (0.1 tons-CO2 reduced in FY2020).

We are currently conducting a technical study to gradually expand the use of mechanically recycled PET film for other product packaging materials.

Intunib tablet packaging

Garbage bag “FUROSHIKI” made from 99% recycled materials

At the Shionogi Group, we use “FUROSHIKI,” a garbage bag made from used stretch film as a raw material (0.6 tons-CO2 reduced in FY 2020). Since FUROSHIKI is made using plastic used and discarded in Japan as a raw material, the use of FUROSHIKI contributes to the control of waste generation.

Please see the website of K.K. Satisfactory for details. (External website) (Japanese version only)

photo of  "FUROSHIKI"

Waste-related indexes and targets

FY 2020 targets and achievements
Waste-related medium-and long-term targets

Waste Generation, Reuse and Recycling, and Disposal by Landfill

As part of its voluntary action plan to realize a reuse- and recycling-oriented society, the FPMAJ has adopted the goals of reducing the amount of industrial waste disposed of as landfill in FY 2025 by about 75% from the FY 2000 actual amount, of reusing or recycling at least 60% of industrial waste in FY 2025, and of reusing or recycling at least 65% of plastic waste by FY 2030. As an FPMAJ member, the Shionogi Group has also set the same or higher level targets to work on waste reduction, reuse and recycling.

Waste materials generated within the Shionogi Group mainly include waste oils resulting from its manufacturing processes, sludge from wastewater treatment, and plastics used in product containers. We practice the “3R” approach (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) through various measures, such as improving the manufacturing processes, selling waste liquids, plastics and metals, and reducing the amount of waste liquids generated.

Shionogi obtains its rate of reuse and recycling by taking the amount of waste sold plus the amount reused/recycled and dividing it by the amount of waste generated (including valuable resources).

The landfill rate is defined as the amount disposed of as landfill divided by the amount of waste generated (including valuable resources).

Trends in waste generation and recycling
Trends in waste disposed of as landfill and waste generated by type

Prevention of illegal dumping

To prevent illegal dumping of industrial waste, Shionogi takes great care in selecting the business operators to whom we consign waste transportation and treatment/disposal, giving priority to those officially recognized for their quality services.

In addition, we verify the quality of their operation on the basis of their business licenses, treatment/disposal facilities, operational conditions, document management status, implementation of emergency drills, and so forth, using our contractor evaluation sheet.

Upon selecting the operators, we ensure the appropriate management of contractual documents, licenses, and manifests (waste management sheets), conducting at least one on-site inspection per year for each operator.

Reuse and recycling of product containers and packaging materials

In compliance with the Containers and Packaging Recycling Act, we put to reuse and recycling a part of the containers and packaging materials used for the products we sell. We are also striving to reduce our environmental impact by modifying container materials and packaging forms while making sure to maintain and improve product quality.

Containers and packaging materials used and amount consigned for reuse/recycling (FY2020 results)


  Containers and packaging materials used Amount consigned for reuse/recycling
Plastic 591 134
Paper 437 12
Glass (transparent) 40 9
Glass (brown) 8 3


Reuse/recycling consignment fee: 6,767 thousand yen

In-house reuse/recycling of resources

Organic solvents used during the manufacturing process of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) at the Kanegasaki Plant, such as dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, and methanol, are collected in-house for reuse, thereby effectively using resources and regulating waste generation.

Clean-up activities

Environmental pollution caused by marine plastic waste has become a major global issue. Marine plastic waste can partly be traced back to plastic waste generated overland and carried into the sea by rain and wind via rivers.

Personnel at Shionogi’s respective operating sites participate in clean-ups along the surrounding roads, removal of illegal posters, and other such initiatives organized in the local communities.

Thus, we are working to raise employee awareness of the environment and resource circulation.

Clean-up activities(Settsu Plant)
Clean-up activities(Settsu Plant)

– Efforts in offices: Saving paper resources

Shionogi Administration Service Co., Ltd., Shionogi Business Partner Co., Ltd. and the labor union of Shionogi & Co., Ltd. are engaged in the bulk recruitment of policyholders for Shionogi’s group insurance contracts.

We have abolished the group insurance guide (approximately 70 pages) and various insurance application forms, which were distributed to approximately 5,000 Shionogi Group employees every year, and have shifted to online application. This has saved the amount of paper resources by about one ton when converted to weight, which has led to the reduction of tasks, such as the creation and shipping of the guide and application forms.

Employees no longer need to submit application forms or affix a seal on them and can now apply on their PCs or smartphones. Thus, this has also led to improved convenience.

photo of  Shionogi Administration Service Co., Ltd. and Shionogi Business Partner Co., Ltd.