Asia Politics & Legislation

Japan Government Wants to Become Leader in Bioplastics

Japan government will reduce disposable plastic waste by 25 percent over next decade and promote plant-based bioplastics.

This plan was drafted by the Environment Ministry, will be presented this Friday to the Government and should be included in the final strategy by the end of this year.

Japan Ministry of Environment comes with extremely ambitious plan:

  • 2 million tons of bioplastics should be used per year by 2030, while it was 70.000 tons in 2013;
  • raise the proportion of recycled and reused plastic to 60 % of all household and industrial waste (53 % of household waste in 2016)
  • encourage the reuse of plastics in electronic appliances and automobile parts.
  • retail shops will have to charge for shopping bags;
  • the use of microplastics in facial scrubs and toothpaste will be slashed;
  • stepping up monitoring of illegal dumping;
  • encouraging investment in businesses taking environmentally friendly steps.

This commitment is aimed at the Osaka Group 20 summit next June. Japan produces the largest amount of plastic waste per capita after the US and both countries refused to sign the Ocean Plastic Charter at the Group 7 summit in June. However, the new measures and objectives are more ambitious than the charter.

CLOSING REMARKS

  • Japan is a pioneer in bioplastics and is accelerating their leadership.
  • Japan is using bioplastics to strategically position themselves on the international scene, and it’s working.
  • Japan seem to be more streetwise and efficient than the EU institutions when it comes to tackling the plastic waste problem through innovation.

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