Politics & Legislation

Japan Aims to Standardize Biodegradable Plastic Materials

The Japanese government plans to launch a public-private initiative to standardize plastic materials that can be degraded by marine microbes, with the aim of promoting such biodegradable materials, according to informed sources.

The move comes as the fight against marine pollution by plastic waste that cannot be degraded in the natural environment is expected to be one of key issues at the Group of 20 summit in the western Japan city of Osaka in late June.

The government aims to adopt an action plan including the promotion of a switch to biodegradable plastic materials in early June and present it to the June 28-29 summit of the 20 advanced and emerging economies, the sources said.

About 8 million tons of non-biodegradable plastic waste is estimated to be released into the sea around the world a year. This pollution is considered a new environmental challenge, on top of global warming.

According to the industry ministry’s plans, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, or AIST, plastics makers and related industry groups will set up an organization for their collaboration by this summer.

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This article was published on www.nippon.com

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