Japan Business Report 2018

Presented by

Discovery Reports

Daishowa’s total packaging solutions take frontline in battle against plastic

From a traditional paper bag manufacturer founded in Shizuoka in 1940, Daishowa has grown into an integrated, end-to-end supplier providing total packaging solutions

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 April, 2018, 5:24pm
UPDATED : Friday, 27 April, 2018, 5:24pm

[Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports]

Cleaning up the world’s oceans – where more than 8 million metric tonnes of plastic waste are dumped per year – is a massive dilemma that even the biggest companies struggle to solve. There is one way, however, through which even the smallest business or youngest environmentally conscious individual can help: choose paper over plastic.

Daishowa Paper Products makes such a choice not only easy, but also smart, efficient and safe. From a traditional paper bag manufacturer founded in Shizuoka in 1940, Daishowa has grown into an integrated, end-to-end supplier providing total packaging solutions – from design and customisation to manufacturing and quality control to recycling.

“More than 40 countries have already banned plastic bags, but Japan has yet to catch up,” says Daishowa CEO Ryosuke Saito. “Daishowa aspires to lead the charge against plastic waste starting here at home, then help take the battle globally.”

Daishowa has risen to global prominence in recent years through its iconic Juunihitoe range of tissue paper priced at US$100 per box of 288 sheets. Designed in honour of the 12-layered ceremonial Japanese kimono, the elegantly packaged, luxuriously soft and delicate tissues come in 12 colours named after wood, flowers and other natural elements.

“The price tag may have caught the attention of the global media, but the product’s quality made Daishowa a name to remember,” Saito says. “Juunihitoe demonstrates how we spare no expense in creating products we are passionate about and take great pride in.”

These days, much of Daishowa’s passion is focused on promoting environmental awareness through its products and production activities. Among its major initiatives are recycling and industrial waste reduction through its modernised factories.

A representative of the Japanese Paper Bag Manufacturing Organization, Saito has also taken it upon himself to help educate society on environmental responsibility and sustainability. Part of his advocacy is engaging Japan’s politicians and decision makers in discussions that address Japan’s stand on various environmental issues.

“For instance, paper products are increasingly becoming environment-friendly, but many other components such as handles and printing inks remain laced with harmful materials,” Saito says. “This is why we need to continuously seek innovative, ingenious technologies such as deriving ink from natural materials such as rice, while constantly elevating the quality of existing products.”

From paper food boxes to pop-up books, all of Daishowa’s products are made in-house where uncompromising quality is ensured by repeated tests and inspection safeguarding durability, functionality and safety.

The integrity and quality of each product are further guaranteed through an automated process and added measures for workers such as air showers that remove dust and prevent contamination.

At the company’s Tokyo showroom, customers can relay their ideas and specifications to Daishowa’s designers in the morning and see actual samples in the afternoon. The company has successfully replicated such efficiency in Shanghai, which – together with its Hong Kong sales subsidiary and Tianjin factory – is positioned to attract more Asian customers.

“Regular training courses, including technical knowledge transfer, make certain that each Daishowa facility, product and employee replicates the level of commitment demonstrated at its Japan headquarters,” Saito says.

Daishowa serves other Asian markets from its Shanghai facilities, which function as the company’s regional headquarters. It eyes a bigger role in Southeast Asia, where it aims to open new facilities that will cater more closely to the region’s demands and requirements.

“I am very enthusiastic about working with the next generation of managers who will hopefully continue the battle for the environment,” Saito says. “We are also thrilled to meet like-minded clients and partners who similarly think outside the box in order to help the world make better choices, improve lives and create a brighter future – and cleaner oceans – for everyone.”