Containers and Packaging/Waste

Nissui's Original Eco Mark "Mirai-no Umie"

In March 2021, Nissui began marking its product packaging with its eco mark "Mirai-no Umie" (meaning "For the future ocean"). The purpose of this eco mark is to make Nissui's environmentally-friendly initiatives widely understood and known among customers through the packaging so that they can select environment-friendly products. "Mirai-no Umie" started appearing on new products and updated products released on March 1, 2021.

Intention Behind the Design


This eco mark was designed in the motif of "∞" (i.e., infinity), symbolizing the circulation of water in forests, rivers and the ocean. The left part of the eco mark represents eco-initiatives, whereas the right part denotes the bountiful sea. The eco mark signifies that environmental friendliness will bring about the ocean's bounty, and in turn, translate into people's healthy and energetic lives and a hopeful future.

Marked Products

All Nissui-branded products are within the scope of being marked with "Mirai-no Umie"; products can bear the eco mark when environmentally-friendly efforts have been made in their containers and packaging. Marking-related environmental friendliness criteria are prescribed in Nissui's "Container/Packaging Selection Guidelines" as well as marking criteria for the "Mirai-no Umie" mark.

Marking Criteria and Example of Presentation (One Example)

The eco mark is displayed on the individual packaging, label, etc. of the product along with a description of their environmental friendliness in concrete terms, such as "plastic usage has been reduced in this tray (xx% less than before)."


Product Bearing "Mirai-no Umie" Mark (One Example)



system, 日本水産株式会社 サステナビリティ推進部, 外部協力者, 日本水産株式会社 コーポレートコミュニケーション部, 日本水産株式会社 人事部人事課

Establishment of Nissui's Container/Packaging Selection Guidelines

In fiscal 2020, Nissui established the Container/Packaging Selection Guidelines, in consideration of the impact of plastics on the global environment, such as the marine plastics problem and global warming. One of the objectives is to reduce the volume of plastics used in containers and packaging to the extent possible, while taking advantage of their roles and functions, including protecting products and maintaining their quality. The Guidelines are applicable to all Nissui-branded products (i.e., frozen prepared foods, surimi-based products, shelf-stable foods, marine products and fine chemical products).

Container/Packaging Selection Guidelines
  Description of initiatives Specific examples
Reduce Suppress the volume of plastics used in containers and packaging (minimization) ・ Packaging size adapted to the content size
・ Films and trays with limited thickness
・ Keep the number of parts low
Replace Adopt plant-derived and recycled materials and replace existing materials with them ・ Biomass-based composite materials
(including biomass-derived biodegradable plastics)
・ Recycled materials (e.g., recycled PET)
・ Paper materials
Recycle Adopt and switch to easy-to-recycle materials ・ Aluminum-free
・ Conversion to single material (i.e., mono-material)
・ Design/structure that allows easy waste separation
Other forms of environmental friendliness
(other than plastics)
Pursue environmental friendliness also for materials other than plastics, such as adopting plant-derived ink and paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). ・ Plant-derived ink
・ FSC-certified paper

Inclusion into Product Development Flow

Nissui has prepared a "Container/Packaging Selection Checklist" in accordance with the Guidelines and implements it as part of the product development flow. It serves as a mechanism that enables us to check whether or not appropriate environmental friendliness has been examined in terms of the materials, size, thickness, etc. of containers and packaging.

system, 日本水産株式会社 サステナビリティ推進部, 外部協力者, 日本水産株式会社 コーポレートコミュニケーション部, 日本水産株式会社 人事部人事課

Use of Containers and Packaging

In Japan, an obligation to recycle waste in the form of “containers” and “packaging” generated from households is imposed on business operators who used, manufactured and/or imported them. Nissui and its group companies in Japan pay a recycling commission to the Japan Containers and Packaging Recycling Association in accordance with the Containers and Packaging Recycling Law (Note), which stipulates the aforementioned obligation.

  FY2018 FY2019 FY2020
Plastics (t) 4,074 4,158 4,374
Paper (t) 356 347 356
Glass bottles (t) 3,397 3,438 3,122

Scope: Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd. (Nissui). Containers and packaging “discharged from households” set forth in the Containers and Packaging Recycling Law made of materials defined in said Law are subject to recycling.

(Note): This law was created for the purpose of recycling containers and packaging (e.g., glass bottles, PET bottles, paper boxes and film bags for sweets, shopping bags) of products discharged as waste from ordinary households in Japan.

system, 日本水産株式会社 サステナビリティ推進部, 外部協力者, 日本水産株式会社 コーポレートコミュニケーション部, 日本水産株式会社 人事部人事課

Reduction of Plastic Containers and Packaging

At Nissui, the Plastics Subcommittee and the Container/Packaging Eco-Project play a central role in reviewing the use of plastics in all of its products.

Nissui's Initiative (Reduction)

  FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Reduced weight of plastic containers and packaging for products sold by Nissui (kg) 4,896 15,630 33,465 33,814

Nissui Group Companies' Initiatives (Reduction)

[Aquaculture Companies’ Initiatives]

Aquaculture companies in the Nissui Group in Japan are reviewing the use of expanded polystyrene boxes (fish boxes) for transporting marine products and considering the use of alternative materials. 
As an alternative, the use of water-repellent cardboard boxes is being promoted mainly during periods other than summer when the temperature is high.

Shipping using fish boxes of alternative materials
Company name Alternative material FY2020 FY2021
All aquaculture companies in the Nissui Group in Japan Paper material (highly water-repellent cardboard boxes) (unit: cases) 42 6,907
Paper material + expanded polystyrene (Note) (unit: cases) 1,610 678

(Note): This is a material in which cardboard and expanded polystyrene are layered, making it possible to limit the volume of plastics used compared to ordinary expanded polystyrene boxes.

[Food Production Companies's Initiatives]

Company name Description of business Results of Initiatives
Flatfish Ltd.
Manufacture and sale of fresh fish and fishery products Reduced plastic containers and packaging used in Flatfish’s products. Results in 2021 were as follows.
  • Reduced fresh food trays and films by 25% in terms of weight compared to before, leading to a reduction of plastics amounting to 13 tons overall.
  • Reduced processed food (fish pie) trays by 20% in terms of weight compared to before, leading to the reduction of plastics amounting to 1.5 tons overall.
Thai Delmar Co., Ltd.
Frozen food production Engaged in an initiative targeting shrimp ingredients, which are the main ingredients at Thai Delmar. Launched a project jointly with eight suppliers in Thailand with the aim of reducing cardboard and plastic waste derived from the ingredients. Results in 2021 were as follows. Results in 2021 were as follows. 
  • Led to the reduction of cardboard and plastics by 6.3 tons and 1.2 tons, respectively.
system, 日本水産株式会社 サステナビリティ推進部, 外部協力者, 日本水産株式会社 コーポレートコミュニケーション部, 日本水産株式会社 人事部人事課

Recyclable Plastic Containers and Packaging

In many cases, plastic containers and packaging for foods are made by pasting together multiple materials. They vary in size and thinness, as well as the degree of contamination after use. The reality is that these factors make it difficult to recycle food containers and packaging. It is thus important to adopt a recyclable design from the development stage, and in cases where the containers and packaging are recyclable, make it known to consumers in an easy-to-understand manner so that it will lead to collection and recycling after use.

Nissui Group Companies' Initiatives (Recyclable Design)

Company name Results of Initiatives and Plans/Targets
Gorton's, Inc. (USA) Since 2019, Gorton's, Inc. has started reviewing existing materials and testing recyclable new materials in collaboration with suppliers in relation to two major container and packaging formats in its products (i.e., SURPs (stand-up resealable pouches) and direct-filling containers/packaging).

In 2020, Gorton's determined the following targets for containers and packaging of producs for retail.[Targets]
  • Make 100% of containers and packaging bear the How2Recycle label (Note) by 2023; and
  • Make at least 95% of containers and packaging (based on weight) recyclable by 2025.

In 2021, the results of initiatives related to containers and packaging of products for retail were as follows.
  • 27% of containers and packaging carried the How2Recycle label.
  • Gorton's identified new recyclable materials for SURPs. Recyclable containers and packaging accounted for 32% of all containers and packaging (and are expected to account for 60% in 2023).
Flatfish Ltd. (UK) In 2020, Flatfish Ltd. promoted the introduction of plastic containers that can be recycled by consumers in the majority of its products. In 2021, Flatfish will further promote this initiative in accordance with the plan below.
  • Promote the replacement of non-recyclable containers and packaging with recyclable alternatives.

In 2021, Flatfish identified the water water absorbent pad that accompanies trays as an obstacle to recycling containers and packaging (it is unsuitable for recycling as it is made of different plastic material from the tray). Flatfish developed new trays that no longer require any water absorbent pad  and switched to a recyclable design, which translated into a reduction of plastics by 2.9 tons.

(Note): How2Recycle is a label in the United States/Canada indicating whether or not the container/packaging is recyclable. At Gorton's, all laminated pillow bags with zipper already bear this label as of December 2020.

system, 日本水産株式会社 サステナビリティ推進部, 外部協力者, 日本水産株式会社 コーポレートコミュニケーション部, 日本水産株式会社 人事部人事課