Moves to replace plastic with wood produced in Okhotsk region gather speed

A toothbrush made from biological materials (foreground) and a plastic toothbrush (behind). Kitami Pierson Hotel

Companies and organizations in the Okhotsk region are rushing to respond to The Plastic Resource Circulation Act, which will be enforced in April and aims to reduce the use of disposable plastic products such as forks, spoons and toothbrushes.
Since FY 2019, the Forestry Division of the Okhotsk Regional Promotion Bureau has been providing free wooden spoons made from birch wood as part of a unique project at Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza, a Hokkaido product antenna shop within the region and in Tokyo. Over the past three years, a total of 85,000 wooden spoons have been distributed free of charge. The response from businesses that have received the distributed spoons has been positive, with some saying they want more, and others asking for the manufacturer’s contact.
The spoons distributed by the promotion bureau are the product of Aitomi Mokuzaikakou (wood processing) Corporation (Tsubetsu). The company manufactures spoons and spatulas, and over the past five years has received an increasing number of inquiries from companies that “want to use wooden products in anticipation of the shift away from plastic.”
In a three-year project to be implemented by the Promotion Bureau starting in FY 2022, the use of wooden products other than spoons will also be promoted, with increased awareness of SDGs and the need to “shift away from plastic.”
At the Kitami Pierson Hotel in central Kitami, disposable plastic toothbrushes will be replaced with ones made from biological materials such as old rice. Representative, Mr. Watanabe explains that while the increased cost is a severe blow from a management perspective, “We want to fulfill our social responsibility, which includes encouraging our guests to do the same.”


Kitami Pierson Hotel