ITO EN, Japan’s multinational beverage company specializing in tea production, has applied its recycling ethic to the tea leaves used in the production process.
Most of the used leaves are recycled as fertilizer and tons of them are used in animal feed, but the company has been very inventive in developing other uses for the infused leaf. In conjunction with other companies, ITO EN now produces a synthetic resin which goes into soap cases, ballpoint pens, vending machines and public benches; boards that can be used to make tatami-type mats for flooring; and plaster boards that are used in construction for interior insulation.
ITO EN’s PET bottles from their iced tea are also recycled to make staff uniforms, egg-packs, fiber, tote bags, clothing, furniture, and carpets. The company follows ‘5 Environmental Action Guidelines’ that take the environment into consideration in everything they do, conserve energy and resources, control emissions and waste, work to prevent global warming, and increase employee awareness of the global environment, and has won a number of environmental awards.