Terracycle Japan is launching a new demonstration experiment in its hometown of Yokohama, just months after their last project reached Yokohama convenience stores. This time they’ve teamed up with the Tokyo-based healthcare/pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo Healthcare on the “Okusuri Sheet Recycle Program,” an initiative to collect and recycle used medication blister packs, also known in Japan as Okusuri (Medicine) sheets or PTP (Press Through Pack) sheets.
The program begins on October 20, 2022 and ends on September 30, 2023. For the period of the experiment, collection boxes will stand in participating locations, starting with pharmacies and drugstores in the Naka Ward of Yokohama, and Minato Red Cross Hospital, inviting citizens and patients to discard their used, empty blister packs, regardless of brand or medication. After the empty blister packs are collected, the plastic blisters and aluminum backing will be separated, with the plastic being turned into plastic pellets and the aluminum melted down and recycled. In exchange for their contribution, recyclers can apply to receive 1 Terracycle Point (worth 1 yen) per 1-10 blister packs recycled.
Okusuri Sheet Recycle Program’s initial participating locations
This program to recycle used medicine blister packs, a natural fit to the combination of Yokohama’s vibrant life science ecosystem and its strong efforts toward bettering the environment, is aimed to help raise the interest of citizens and other business operators in how to combat the issue of plastic and aluminum waste in their everyday lives. The City of Yokohama, a collaborator on the program, will cooperate in selecting future collection sites, and raising awareness.
Terracycle (founded in 2001 in the US) established its Japanese subsidiary Terracycle Japan in Yokohama in 2013. Yokohama works to support the establishment of foreign companies in Yokohama, and promotes the creation of innovation and business development through collaboration with local company and organizations. The City of Yokohama has supported TerraCycle Japan’s activities in Yokohama by collaborating on recycling programs and other initiatives, providing platforms and seminars for raising awareness, and by providing other opportunities for matching with local companies such as Global Sustainability Startup Pitch Event and US Company Introduction Seminar. Terracycle Japan also delivered a speech on the “International Symposium on Climate Change and SDGs” hosted by Yokohama City University.
*For more details of the Okusuri Sheet Recycle Program, please reference the program’s official website (Japanese Only): https://www.daiichisankyo-hc.co.jp/okusuri-sheet/