TOKYO (ANN/THE JAPAN NEWS) – 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 October 6, priced at JPY880 including tax.
Each model contains about two 600 millilitre 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 per cent 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 utilised plastic made from eggshells, which would otherwise be discarded as waste.