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Let’s protect the sea with Hello Kitty!

The impact of “microplastics”small pieces of plastic waste—on the ecosystem is becoming serious. Microplastics are a major cause of marine pollution including because of plastic straws that are used but not recycled.

Outside Japan, major restaurant chains such as Starbucks and McDonald’s are beginning to replace disposable straws and other plastic products with paper straws. In Japan, chain stores such as Odoya and Kurazushi have stopped offering plastic straws since the beginning of this year, and the movement to eliminate plastic straws is expanding. Sanrio also released paper straws in July, which were designed with the company’s “Hello Kitty” character. The straws have a colorful design that can be used by both children and adults and are purchased at Sanrio shops and department stores nationwide. Sanrio plans to introduce the straws at some restaurants in its theme parks, “Sanrio Puroland” and “Harmonyland,” which are reportedly eliminating about 400,000 plastic straws a year.

Deterrence of marine pollution is one of the “SDGs” (Sustainable Development Goals) advocated by the United Nations, which is included as one of the 17 goals for the improvement of the world (Goal 14 “Protect the richness of the sea”). Realization of this goal requires the consideration of many people. In Sanrio, Hello Kitty uses her YouTube channel, “Hello Kitty channel,” to regularly stream videos supporting SDGs.

Sanrio is also taking other steps to protect the environment, such as distributing water-based ink paper bags, in place of toxic organic solvents, at Sanrio Shops. In the future, the company plans to propose a variety of ways to encourage each and every individual to act with consideration.

2019.10.01