Used plastic bottles are seen at a waste collection point in Tokyo. Photo: REUTERS/Toru Hanai
business

China's plastic waste import ban pushes rich nations to rethink trash options

24 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
Login to comment

Start by cutting down on all the excess wasted packaging here would be a great start!

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Single use plastics are the scourge of the Earth. Just stop producing it and make people reuse plastic items. Japan in particular needs to cut down the use of plastics in wrapping. I am a conservative plastics user and avoid buying overly wrapped products, but I still end up with a 40 liter bag of plastic and styrene every week just for two people. It's quite obvious there is no means to recycle it, so single use plastics must be stopped - immediately! For example, every one of those drinks in the above photo could be sold in cardboard containers the same as milk. Cardboard containers are much easier to recycle and are biodegradable if tossed into the environment.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

I don't like the Chinese government one bit, but on this issue they are right... why should any country import another country's waste? Why should someone in Japan be able to stir their convenience store coffee with a little plastic stick, that comes wrapped in plastic, and then dump it into another country to deal with?

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Japan in particular needs to cut down the use of plastics in wrapping. I am a conservative plastics user and avoid buying overly wrapped products, but I still end up with a 40 liter bag of plastic and styrene every week just for two people. 

Wow, I am married, 3 kids, and when the inlaws were alive, we were feeding and buying for 7 people and a dog in the house, and we never came close to using that much plastic! And we didnt make any obvious choices about whether to curb the use of plastic either!

One thing you can do at supermarkets is request to have packaged products that use those Styrofoam trays repackaged into a plain plastic, burnable, bag. Been doing that recently here, and it cuts down on a lot of garbage!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

On option not discussed here is getting the waste management companies to build incinerators that are capable of burning the plastic bottles.

Down here in Okinawa, one municipality has this type of incinerator and PET bottles are burnable trash. The incinerators burn hot enough that there are no harmful toxins released and all the exhaust is filtered as well.

If they were even smarter they would use the trash to make electricity too!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I find it hard to believe technological solutions cant be found. There has been all sorts of funky ways to process plastic waste for years.

I dont see why China should be forced to accept anybplastic waste from anywhere and in fact shpuld probably be thanked for forcing the hand of other countries to get their act together

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Back to GLASS, with a deposit paid on the return.

I used to work so well, but not to the liking of the companies that had to divert some of their profits to recycling.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

I used to work so well, but not to the liking of the companies that had to divert some of their profits to recycling.

Got these in Aus now. In Sydney and now out to major population areas.

https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/live/waste-and-recycling/clean-streets/container-deposit-scheme.

They do plastics, but they don't do all types.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/nov/05/terrawatch-the-rivers-taking-plastic-to-the-oceans

Apparently much of the plastic that was shipped to China ended up dumped into the ocean. That is not just bad for Chinese, it is bad for everyone.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/nov/05/terrawatch-the-rivers-taking-plastic-to-the-oceans

Apparently much of the plastic that was shipped to China ended up dumped into the ocean. That is not just bad for Chinese, it is bad for everyone.

No price incentive to do anything else but dump it. Failure in economics.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A subtle move by China in its trade war with the US, the source of the largest single percentage of that waste. As America buries itself in its garbage the Chinese must be smirking.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

One thing you can do at supermarkets is request to have packaged products that use those Styrofoam trays repackaged into a plain plastic, burnable, bag. Been doing that recently here, and it cuts down on a lot of garbage!

If they're only repackaging from styrofoam trays into another plastic bag then it's not actually cutting down on waste. Better to not have been packed in the first place... but I agree... I have no idea how two people can create 40 litres a week.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

One thing you can do at supermarkets is request to have packaged products that use those Styrofoam trays repackaged into a plain plastic, burnable, bag.

Yubaru, you're normally spot on with your analysis, but unless this isn't written the way you intended, you're not doing anything helpful with this. In fact, you're creating MORE garbage.

Think of it this way. You go to your local Aeon Supa, and see the karage on the foam tray, wrapped in plastic. You then request that they take it out of said tray and repackage it in a burnable plastic bag for you.

Now, while on garbage day you now have a smaller bag for yourself, what do you think happened to that tray? Aeon didn't just wash it and reuse the plastic wrap for another package to give to the next person. They chucked it.

So now, at least based off of what you wrote, not only is there a styrofoam tray and one layer of plastic wrap in the trash (Aeon's trash in this case), but now another burnable plastic ball of used bagging in your trash... basically creating more.

Again, maybe this just didn't come out the way you intended to write it, but if this is the case man, I would strongly advise you to stop how you're doing things, because you're not helping, you're actually making the plastic problem worse.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The problem in Japan is being "eco" simply means the feel good "RECYCLE" in is a far less effective solution than refuse, reduce, repair, rethink ...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Why does China need to explain itself!!!! That's outrageous! Can't we be mature, congratulate them and thank them for pressuring us to do something about our plastic problem?

China was criticized at a meeting of the World Trade Organization in October for its abrupt policy shift, which many Western countries believe is detrimental to the global environment.

Along with the European Union, South Korea, Canada and Australia, Washington voiced concerns that China has not given a sufficient explanation for its policy change.

I'm ashamed to be part of this section of the world

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Is this waste plastic being dumped in the ocean? That would explain the huge floating amounts of plastic, and the dying marine animals!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Once Japan starts having to deal with its own garbage they will realise how easy it is to use less of it.

A number of countries that have started adding small charges for plastic bags have seen their use slashed by about 90% overnight. It is very easy.

Drinks can easily be sold in glass bottles or aluminium cans.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Now, while on garbage day you now have a smaller bag for yourself, what do you think happened to that tray? Aeon didn't just wash it and reuse the plastic wrap for another package to give to the next person. They chucked it.

Aeon and other supermarkets do recycle the trays, in fact at some of the local supermarkets there are recycle bins in place at the entrances for this very reason.

I dont know if all do it, but some do.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@David Varnes;

Hence my requesting the plastic bags, they do recycle.

This is for a major supermarket chain here in Okinawa, SanEi

https://www.san-a.co.jp/company/csr/

This is Ryukyu AEON,

http://www.aeon-ryukyu.jp/environment/ondanka/

They dont just trash the trays, they recycle them. I dont know what they do in mainland but this is a reason to request the plastic bags when I shop!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They dont just trash the trays, they recycle them. I dont know what they do in mainland but this is a reason to request the plastic bags when I shop!

Either they recycle them or you do. They don't reuse them. Then there is the wrap around the tray... not recycled or reused. It's not making any difference environmentally. It's just saving you the job of doing it yourself, and using an extra plastic bag (albeit burnable).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Either they recycle them or you do. They don't reuse them. Then there is the wrap around the tray... not recycled or reused. It's not making any difference environmentally. It's just saving you the job of doing it yourself, and using an extra plastic bag (albeit burnable).

Ok, if they are recycled it is better than just tossing them in a landfill somewhere and the rest is burnable so there is relatively less harm to the environment right?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

HELLO CHina, you manufactured a good portion of the single use plastics you should take it back! The waste packaging should have origin identification and it should go back to them. Germany has a heafty levy/tax on packaging waste. THe onus is on the retailers (and indirectly the manufacurers) for the waste, not the consumer. I think its a policy many countries could implement.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ok, if they are recycled it is better than just tossing them in a landfill somewhere and the rest is burnable so there is relatively less harm to the environment right?

Either they recycle it or you do. So... not really no. The extra step of asking to repackage into a burnable plastic bag is really a pointless step unless you're just trying to save yourself some effort, which in response to the 40ltr bag comment by disillusioned is a fair comment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites