September 18, 2023
TOKYO – Major toy manufacturer Bandai Spirits Co. is set to sell plastic models of the popular anime series “Mobile Suit Gundam” made with resin containing used tea leaves, reducing the use of petroleum-derived plastic. The “1/1 Zakupla-Kun” model will be available online from Oct. 6, priced at ¥880 including tax.
Each model contains about two 600 milliliter bottles worth of tea leaves, which are a waste product from the production of Oi Ocha Unsweetened Green Tea made by beverage manufacturer Ito En, Ltd.
Used leaves make up more than 20% of the resin used in the head, arms and legs, giving the plastic model a faint aroma of tea.
Bandai Spirits is working on adopting alternative materials to petroleum-derived plastics in some of its plastic models as part of its environmental considerations.
The company has also utilized plastic made from eggshells, which would otherwise be discarded as waste.