Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

October 8, 2005


Revision of Japan's Package Recycling System Being Considered

Keywords: Government Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

The Ministry of the Environment released an interim report on how to revise the Package Recycling System at a June 13 meeting of the Waste Management and Recycling Committee of the Central Environment Council. After collecting opinions from the public on the revision for one month starting July 4, the committee plans to further discuss it on the basis of the public feedback and draw up a final draft by the autumn of 2005.

As a basic direction of the revision, the report presents three points: (1) how to promote the establishment of a recycling-based society in accordance with the three Rs principle of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle; (2) how to encourage cooperation among the national government, local governments, businesses, citizens, NPOs and others; and (3) how to lower operating costs throughout society. The ministry has also raised the need for specific efforts to reduce waste and promote reuse, to find better approaches for sorted garbage collection and storage, and to revise the Law for Re-Merchandizing.

As a concrete measure to control waste generation, the report found it important to have stores stop offering shoppers free plastic bags, amounting to an estimated 30 billion a year, and instead to encourage people to bring their own bags when shopping. The current law cannot be used to charge for plastic bags, so efforts must continue to find ways to recycle plastic bags.

As to how to share responsibility between local governments and businesses for sorted collection and storage of waste, a focal point in the proposed revision, the report says that due consideration is necessary to avoid excessive financial burden on businesses. It also states that local governments will have to increase the transparency of disposal costs paid by businesses and spend the funds more efficiently.

Posted: 2005/10/08 08:43:57 AM
Japanese version