A few thoughts on packaging

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Thousands of years ago, goat’s milk stored in a sheep’s stomach shaken by the motion of a camel became cheese, and provided people with a new food. Packaging is not simply wrapping things—the act of packaging can create new features too.

Around the third century, the Romans utilized barrels to carry oil, wine, and water. Their round shape made loading operations easier and quicker, and they have been in use ever since as a convenient packaging capable of easy repositioning. In Japan too, various natural materials have been used as packaging. Traditional Niigata-style bamboo dumplings are made by steaming sweet bean paste dumplings after first wrapping these in bamboo leaves. Their long shelf life is said to be due to packaging technology, thanks to the sterilizing and antimicrobial effects of the bamboo leaves.

With the development of petrochemical science, in addition to various processing technologies based on plastic as a raw material, modern packaging technology has given rise to what might be considered a new food culture, including such items as retort pouch food, frozen food, microwave food, instant food, and sterilized food.

In the future, new features will continue to be added due to packaging technologies.

However, looking back, although plastics packaging is less than 100 years old, its rapid development has meant that we now face the serious problem of waste. The natural products that predated plastics, such as sheep stomachs, barrels, and bamboo leaves, could be completely returned to nature. But it can take decades to break down plastics and return these to nature. As we reach the limit of oil as a resource, and amid global warming, we have entered the era when our approach to packaging needs to be reconsidered.

By overcoming these serious challenges, we believe we can create a new packaging culture.

Firstly, we need to develop packaging technology to reduce the amount of material used as much as possible. Next, in order to break away from material dependency on oil, we aim to pro-actively commercialize biomass plastics. On the manufacturing side, we develop packaging materials as small as possible, using as little energy as possible.

We are committed to the ongoing provision of more convenient and safer packaging materials.