Japanese firms adopt practices to protect environment

Tokyo, Feb.18: Japanese manufacturing firms are adopting practices that protect the environment.

Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, located in Kakegawa of Japan’s Shizuoka prefecture, produces Pocari Sweat, an electrolyte beverage.

Since its launch in 1980, Pocari Sweat has become popular among people of all ages.

The company has expanded its product lineup to include a variety of convenient cans and PET bottles.

To keep the environment safe, Otsuka Pharmaceutical focuses on reducing the weight of containers, especially the 500ml PET bottles, which are widely consumed in Japan.

Koji Nagao, plant manager, Fukuroi Factory, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, said: ” I am holding a conventional bottle and a newly developed eco-bottle whose weight is 30 per cent less.”

Pocari Sweat is now available in a container whose weight has been reduced from 27g to 18g.

It was the lightest 500ml PET bottle in 2007.

The reduction of 9g weight per bottle resulted in an annual reduction of approx. 2,700 tons of PET resin.

The volume of energy savings can be calculated at approximately 4,000KL crude oil equivalent.

This saves enough gasoline for an automobile with 10km/l gas mileage to travel approximately 950 times around the earth.

The reduction of CO2 emissions is approximately 8,300 tons annually, equivalent to emissions produced by 1,500 households.

Nagao further said: “We have introduced Japan’s first positive pressure sterile bottling system. It makes it possible to bottle at room temperature and use thinner lightweight eco-bottles.”

Pocari Sweat is bottled in a sterile booth. Before the cap sealed, the container is topped off with nitrogen and subjected to positive pressure.

These eco-bottles are also easy to flatten for recycling.

Otsuka Indonesia has been selling eco-bottle in Indonesia since 2010.

Nagao said: “Engineers from a factory in Indonesia have visited Japan for study and training. The eco-bottle has been introduced in our factory in Indonesia to produce Pocari Sweat.”

An advanced wastewater treatment facility has been installed at Kanagawa prefecture in Kawasaki city, located near Tokyo.

It helps treat wastewater collected from 32 million people.

Ken Takahashi of the Kawasaki City Water Department said: “To achieve environmental standards and anti-eutrophication measures of Tokyo Bay, Kawasaki City has introduced the advanced water treatment facility of “anaerobic-anoxic-aerobic process” by using Bio-Tube at Iriezaki Wasterwater Treatment Center.”

Phosphorus and nitrogen contained in the sewage is known as the cause of red tide occurrence in Tokyo Bay.

Kawasaki City introduced the advanced treatment to remove nitrogen and phosphorus for improved water quality.

Gen Takahashi, Manager, JFE Engineering Corporation, said: “We believe that the bio-tube developed by JFE Engineering can be adapted for sewage treatment by Southeast Asian countries for advanced waste water treatment.”

Such advanced technologies are needed across Asia, especially in developing countries like India, where environment protection is of prime concern. (ANI)