Ethical Performance
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Zero-waste brewery opens in Japan

August 2015

Waste disposal is a complex business in Japan. The population density is so high and useable land area so limited that landfill solutions are not an option. Local municipalities set their own regulations and procedures.

These inevitably place great emphasis on recycling as much waste as possible. In major cities, it is not unusual for new residents to receive a 20+ page booklet detailing how to sort and dispose of waste. What can’t be recycled usually ends up in highly advanced municipal incinerators.

Major manufacturers often make recycling an integral part of their production processes.

For example, Kao Corp, a manufacturer of detergents, household, and personal care products recycles containers, used to deliver materials to its factories, to ship finished products to distributors.

And now a small company has started the first zero waste brewery in Japan to deliver sustainable beer.

RISE& WIN Brewing Co. aims to show how beer producers can be environmentally friendly without compromising style or substance
In the “zero waste” town of Tokushima in southeastern Japan, RISE & WIN Brewing Co. has opened a waste-free beer making operation and restaurant, the RISE & WIN Brewing Co. BBQ & General Store. The complex stands on the site of an old department store.

Tokushima gives each resident a detailed garbage separating system, which they are expected to observe when handling household waste. There are 34 categories of refuse, ranging from cans and paper and bottles to more toxic items like batteries and old electronics.

When city facilities receive the separated trash, they can recycle the components enough to make their claim of being a waste-free municipality.

This system relies heavily on the townspeople’s voluntary involvement – there are no fines or legal penalties for non-participation.
Japanese society has a deeply embedded sense of duty to serve the common good. Thus compliance, even with the town’s complex garbage system, does not present a problem.

RISE & WIN took the plan a step further by building their site in as waste-free and environmentally sensitive a manner as possible. They worked with sustainability architect Hiroshi Nakamura, who applied various methods, including natural finishes made from persimmon juice, and recycling mill ends from local cedar trees for decoration.

RISE & WIN opened on 30 May 2015. Though its core business model is as a brewery, it also offers household products ranging from shampoo, BBQ, and pasta with a tasting stand all sold by weight.  

RISE & WIN | Asia | Waste management

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