big plastic user japan fights waste ahead of g-20 summit
In a country where clean and tidy packaging has always been considered good service, almost everything from bananas to vegetables, pastries, pens and cosmetics is sold in plastic-wrapped.
But as world leaders come to Osaka,day G-
At 20 summits starting Friday, Japan will try to become a leader in environmental policy while playing a catch-up role
Compared with already rich countries
In the first few months of G-
20 summits, Japanese officials published
Strong support for future banning singles
Use plastics, beach cleaning and more research on alternatives such as bio-plastics.
The problem is that the execution and timing of the directive have not yet matched the measures already taken by the EU --
Including comprehensive legislation earlier this year to ban singles.
Plastics will be used in all Member States by 2021.
Just last summer, Japan failed to sign G-
7 plastic charter, join the United States to become the only country not signed. At a mid-
The 20 environment ministers of Japan\'s Kukawa facilitated an agreement to start sharing best practices and to develop standards to track marine plastic waste, but did not set digital targets or schedule of progress.
Japan is number one in the world.
2 single consumers
Plastic packaging per person
America is not. 1 —
According to $2018N.
Environmental planning report. G-
20 countries have produced half of the world\'s plastic waste, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will host the summit, will address the issue as a top priority at the summit and Japan.
But Japan\'s promotional activities, such as medals at the Tokyo Olympics next year and champion trophies for recycled metals and plastics, did not impress experts, they say Japan cannot recover from the global plastic waste crisis. Instead, the country needs to focus on reducing plastics in the early stages of the supply chain.
Malaysian Mageswari sangaralingam said: \"What we are asking for is to reduce plastic production in the first place.
Expert in waste management.
There are signs that Japan is beginning to recognize its own difficulties.
Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko in G-
20 The Conference of Ministers of the environment plans to develop a law requiring retailers to charge plastic shopping bags as early as next April.
7 & I Holdings Limited
Japanese operator of 7-
11 convenience stores announced a plan last month to replace all plastic shopping bags with paper by 2030 and replace all with paper, biodegradable or other reusable materials in nearly 21,000 stores across the country
These targets are more ambitious than the government\'s 2030 target, with a 25% reduction in the single targetuse plastic. Selected 7-
11 shops near Tokyo, including one in Yokohama, have started offering paper bags instead of plastic bags.
Nakamura Saemi, a customer, said the change was welcome.
\"The whole world is talking about the bad use of plastic.
\"I think paper bags are better,\" Nak said . \".
Ministop, another convenience store, began to charge 3 yen (3 cents)
In an experiment conducted at two stores in Chiba, near Tokyo, each plastic shopping bag will be expanded to about 40 stores in early 2020.
But experts say plastic shopping bags and packaging are only a small part of the overall plastic waste problem. As much as 12.
According to a study cited by the Ministry of Environment of Japan, 7 million tons of plastic waste fall into the ocean every year, of which up to 60,000 tons are from Japan.
Japan is also number one in the world.
Exporter of plastic waste.
I used to export about one.
5 million tons per year, mainly shipped to China.
After China stopped accepting plastic imports in 2017, some Southeast Asian countries became new targets, but some countries, including Malaysia and the Philippines, are now taking back their goods.
They accused rich countries of dumping garbage into poor countries.
Japanese officials have set up a 1 to find a new home for the country\'s old plastics. 9 billion yen ($18 million)
The emergency fund for the past two years and requires additional recycling and incineration loads from local authorities and waste disposal personnel.
According to trade statistics, Japan exported 1 million tons of plastic waste last year, but experts said the decline could be related to illegal exports or an increase in dump stocks.
\"We are working hard to develop more domestic plastic recycling facilities and capabilities, but it will take some time,\" said environment department official Ono shi Ono . \".
At a factory in Tokyo Bay, plastic recycling company Kyodo operates one of more than a dozen factories.
, About 35 tons of PET bottles per day.
They have hundreds of bags, each wrapped in plastic and then taken apart, sorted, crushed, heated and chopped.
Eiichi Furusawa, president of the company, said that next, they were transformed into fine particles and reborn as egg boxes, school uniforms, jerseys and other sports equipment, as well as PET bottles, back to the store shelves.
\"Even if we want (
Waste plastic for export)
\"No country welcomes imports now,\" Furusawa said . \".
\"We think we need to circulate plastic at home. \"———
Associated Press writer Mary Yamaguchi contributed to the report.