Dow Japan completes Olympic legacy project—donates flowerpots made from Tokyo 2020 banners to Higashi Matsushima city

Promoted as part of the Circular Economy Project with the International Olympic Committee, the banners and flowerpots were produced in collaboration with Toppan and will be donated to schools

TOKYO, Japan – December 20, 2021 – Dow Japan (Head Office: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Eriko Sakurai) announced today the completion of its legacy project with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and donation of flowerpots made from recycled decorative banners—used at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020—to Higashi Matsushima city, Miyagi Prefecture.

Dow Japan President Eriko Sakurai donated the first commemorative flowerpot to the mayor of Higashi Matsushima city during a ceremony held on Sunday, November 21 at a municipal event promoting the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Additional flowerpots will be donated this year to schools in Higashi Matsushima, to be used by students to grow sapling for restoring the wetland and forest damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake, and to schools in Tokyo’s Kōtō district, which hosted many events of the Games.

The recyclable fabric banners and flowerpots were produced in collaboration between Toppan Inc. and Dow, which has served as the Official Chemistry Company of the Olympic Games since 2010. Dow’s 10-year participation in The Olympic Partner program concludes at the end of 2021.

Each flowerpot is marked with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games logo to celebrate this circular economy legacy project. This is the first time that an item used during Tokyo 2020 has been recycled in a different form and given the Olympic emblem. The joint project serves as a legacy to Tokyo 2020 and addresses the growing need of giving plastic a second life.

"Plastic is a valuable material and resource," said Hirokazu Shibata, Dow Japan Technology Leader. “The recycling of these plastic decorative banners exemplifies Dow's goal of helping to build a circular economy and to leave a positive legacy for the next generation.”

Typically, decorative temporary banners are buried in landfills or incinerated. Dow's VERSIFY™ elastomer technology is used for the fabric of the decorative banner by Toppan, which focuses on recyclability. The banners are made from a single plastic material, including the main membrane, mesh, eyelets and yarn, making the decorative banners recyclable and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 30 to 35 percent (*) by avoiding incineration.

The flowerpots utilize Dow’s Fusabond™ compatibilizer to improve mechanical properties to aid recycling processes.

“Look and signage are essential to bring colour to an event and engage participants, but can also be a major source of waste,” said Marie Sallois, Director of Corporate and Sustainable Development at the International Olympic Committee. “This pilot project is a great example of collaboration between Olympic partners to showcase sustainable innovation at the Games, while putting into practice the IOC’s best practice recommendations for the lifecycle management of branding and signage materials. The project will bring valuable learnings to help the events industry design more sustainable look and signage solutions, thereby contributing to reducing the environmental footprint of events.”

Higashi Matsushima city is where the 2020 Olympic torch—themed the “Flame of Reconstruction”—first arrived from Greece before continuing its journey through Japan. The city is also where Dow Japan has been visiting local schools to educate students on the importance of recycling and building a circular economy. As part of this initiative, on November 1 and 2, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics in Japan held an on-site class at five elementary schools in the city—Miyanomori Elementary School, Osio Elementary School, Akai Elementary School, Naruse Sakuraga Elementary School, and Yamoto Nishi Elementary School—on the topic of the SDGs. Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics has been visiting schools in Sendai city and Higashi Matsushima city since the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.

Dow also recently committed to additional plastic recycling targets, including enabling 1 million metric tons of plastic to be collected, reused or recycled through its direct actions and partnerships.

For more information about Dow solutions at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, visit

About Dow
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines global breadth, asset integration and scale, focused innovation and leading business positions to achieve profitable growth. The Company’s ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company, with a purpose to deliver a sustainable future for the world through our materials science expertise and collaboration with our partners. Dow’s portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer care. Dow operates 106 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 35,700 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $39 billion in 2020. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information, please visit or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter.

About Toppan Inc.
Toppan is a leading global provider of integrated solutions in the fields of printing, communications, security, packaging, décor materials, and electronics. Serving customers in every sector of business and industry, Toppan’s global team of more than 50,000 employees offers optimal solutions enabled by industry-leading expertise and technologies to address the diverse challenges that businesses and society face in today’s rapidly changing market.

For more information, visit or follow Toppan on LinkedIn

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J.D. Sterba