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Cabinet approves bill to reduce plastic waste, encourage recycling

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Businesses that fail to meet the new requirement can be fined up to 500,000 yen.

Finally! A law with some bite.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

When I was a kid, all biscuits were in one pack. Now, for the same brand, the pack of 16 has been divided into 4 small packs with plastic around. Just an example, but the society has changed to add plastic everywhere. Here in Japan, most people do always wrap their meat or fish pack in an additional thin plastic bag.

Problem is not to improve the recycling process though it is important but reduce the plastic consumption,

and also educate people not to throw. Cities are clean here. but in the country side, there is a lot of plastic thrown along the road, pet bottles, bentos, etc.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Supermarkets should just remove all plastic bags then there is no choice, then provide bags that are are biodegradable people will have to use them,

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'd really like to see plastic bags banned outright like they are in NZ. If you don't bring a bag your choices are use a cardboard box or buy an overpriced reusable bag.

This law is scheduled for 2022, I hope the facilities will be made and or upgraded to deal with this. The vast majority of recyclables in my area are combined with regular rubbish and incinerated.

As always government statistics will include this "thermal recovery" as recycling. Boasting among the highest plastic recycling rates in the world at over 80 percent.

A more pragmatic look states

Japan has one of the lowest recycling rates among OECD countries, at only 20% in 2017. Some 78% of the remaining waste is sent to incinerators—by far the highest among the OECD bloc.

There's a cliff we're standing on. Do you build a fence to stop people jumping or a trampoline at the bottom to hopefully catch them? Recycling is good for those that get through; stopping it before it happens should be priority. I'm glad to see that being addressed in this law.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan has a serious rubbish problem and it's not wanting to face it. We pretend to be into recycling by separating rubbish as burnable, non burnable, but in reality most of it gets shipped to China and/or mostly burned straight away. Just a fraction is really recycled.

Also, plastic separation basically doesn't exist here. There are many kinds of plastic, like casein plastic. Or you can't handle PE as PVC, or as PP or PS. Yet, in here, it's all thrown into the garbage bag for plastic and done. Not speaking of individual packaging of each cookie, etc.

Plastic bags should be banned or heavily taxed. Just a few Yen for a レジ袋 is a joke. If someone points out that we should follow other countries like Germany or so, someone else finds an excuse for why we need it like this in here and why we are so special.

Just look every few days in front of your house. There is so much レジ袋 inside the garbage bags, inside many レジ袋 is just another plastic obento pack which is usually wrapped in a サランラップ and sometimes each convenience store puts another plastic label over it with a picture and other nonsense.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The bill, expected to come into force in April 2022

Why not today? Surely it’s already prepared?

I noticed that since charging for bags many people bring their own. Also businesses can rip off customers by selling ¥0.3 bags for ¥3.

unfortuately, I do beach cleaning and the amount of plastics and cans hasn’t reduced.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hear that 89% of the "recycled" plastic we separate in Tokyo is just burnt.. 100% in Yokohama!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Also businesses can rip off customers by selling ¥0.3 bags for ¥3

they should be charging ¥30

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Eating and drinking establishments that give customers disposable straws and cutlery will be required to draw up reduction measures by reviewing their serving methods.

It takes limited effects and only serve at best as an awareness campaign to the public. Industrial plastic wastes are far larger in size and responsible for environmental problems. Unfortunately, pro-business LDP ministers like Koizumi seem reluctant to tackle the critical area. They try to find and target easy preys.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cabinet approves bill to reduce plastic waste, encourage recycling

....while at the same time forcing restaurants and shops to go to delivery service and plastic-sheeting the entire country. Brilliant.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@kiwikid

The vast majority of recyclables in my area are combined with regular rubbish and incinerated.

As always government statistics will include this "thermal recovery" as recycling. Boasting among the highest plastic recycling rates in the world at over 80 percent.

Are you saying rubbish is separated by households etc. for recycling (because of local requirements), then collected, combined with non-recyclable rubbish, and incinerated?

However you're trying to state it, it would be difficult to verify whether you're correct, partially correct, or you've got it all garbled. But that aside, incineration of separated plastics is recycling. Strictly speaking, recycling is simply the processing of waste into something else that can be used or that has value. It doesn't have to be in a form that you like.

There are two main advantages to thermal recycling (it goes under various names, but I'll settle for that). It provides energy. And it stops plastics from ending up in fields, forests, rivers, oceans. Or being exported. As a source of energy, it's productive - that is the recycling aspect. It would be far preferable for us, especially in Japan, to get through a lot less plastic destined for one-time use, but until that happens, which is clearly going to be no time soon, it's a pretty damn good way to get rid of it, and to get something from it at the same time. Japan is far from alone in using this method (e.g. Austria, Germany, Norway, and Sweden are all strong advocates of thermal recycling).

Even the NZ government does not sound as if it actively disapproves - well not in 1997, anyway: "Most plastic waste is not recyclable because of impurities, but tonne for tonne it has more energy than coal. Although it accounts for only 7 percent of landfill volume, it makes up 30 percent of a landfill's energy content. Even where the plastic is recyclable, the energy retrieval from burning is much higher than the materials retrieval from recycling. At present, plastics are not incinerated in New Zealand."

https://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/environmental-reporting/waste-generation-and-disposal-new-zealand

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Forget about sorting out garbage into plastic and burnable. At my place, I've noticed that if plastic is thrown out on the same day as burnable, they're still collected - and I suspect just burned altogether. I can tell which is plastic because we have to buy different coloured bags for different types of garbage. Yeah, more plastic bags. At my old place, you could just use an ordinary plastic bag.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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