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From Factory Scraps to Fun: Gachapon Capsules Get a Sustainable Makeover

A new initiative in Sakai City is turning factory scraps into toys for gachapon capsules, including leather and metal remnants and non-standard vegetables.



Woman spinning the industrial scrap gachapon machine installed on a trial basis in Minami Ward, Sakai City, on April 9. (©Sankei by Yusuke Kizu)

Read the full story on Japan 2 Earth - From Factory Scraps to Fun: Gachapon Capsules Get a Sustainable Makeover

Sakai City in Osaka Prefecture launched a new project using gachapon capsule machines. But these gachapon are like no other. The toys inside the capsules are made from scraps and remnants of industrial manufacturing. This initiative has found another method of upcycling – adding value to waste materials. The city aims to make the initiative a part of its efforts to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Keychains and Veggie Paints

The current lineup of capsule toys includes five types. The first is a coin case made from scrap leather. Next are incense stands crafted from scraps generated in steel manufacturing. The "tatami bars" offer the fresh fragrance of scrap tatami mats, and mushroom leather keychains are made from leftover mushroom mycelium. Finally, the veggie paints are made from non-standard vegetables that were destined for disposal.

Items included in gachapon capsules include tatami bars shaped like ice-cream bars, paints in little containers and angular metal incense stands.
Five types of products made from material remnants. (Photo by Yusuke Kizu)

In the spring of 2023, the head of Sakai City's Tokyo Office came up with the gachapon idea. He was contemplating how to utilize industrial scraps and thought gachapon was the perfect way to appeal to children. 

Continue reading the full story on Japan 2 Earth to learn where to find these gachapon machines and plans for their expansion.

And find more great articles on the environment and the challenges of achieving the SDGs on our affiliated website Japan 2 Earth (J2E), sparking a transition to a sustainable future.


(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: Yusuke Kizu