Japan announced on 2019 that it would adopt a policy to establish regulations prohibiting retail stores from providing plastic bags to customers, prompting customers to bring their own plastic bags and develop the habit of carrying school bags when they go out. Among them, paid plastic bags are also included in prohibited content. This measure in Japan will be formally implemented in July 2020 and is consistent with the environmental protection policies of many countries.
It is reported that the regulations are targeted at about 760 retail stores such as supermarkets and convenience stores in the city. And these stores can set their own prices, but there are few stores that provide plastic bags for a fee. Therefore, for those shops that violate the regulations, the government will disclose the name of the shop and list it as the object of advice. ￼￼￼ The new decree will be implemented within this and next two years, no later than Tokyo Olympics. And at the G20 meeting, Japan also signed an agreement with other countries on marine plastic waste.
It is understood that before the introduction of a national law, some local governments in Japan have formulated policies for charging plastic bags, and have achieved good results.
For example, in Fushan Country which took the lead in implementing this policy in 2008, the proportion of consumers bringing their own shopping bags reached 95%. What calls for special attention is that plastic pollution for more countries. According to Japanese media reports, Japan uses more than 100,000 tons of plastic bags a year. Due to insufficient domestic treatment facilities and high costs, Japan also exports a large amount of plastic waste. As more and more countries restrict the import of plastic waste, there is a backlog of plastic waste in Japan.
Japan’s proud garbage collection system is said to be able to recycle more than half of the plastic waste, but it simply collects plastic waste and burns it, and only the heat energy after the waste is burned is recovered. But this behavior will only release a large amount of carbon dioxide and affect the atmospheric environment. And according to the survey of environmental protection organizations, it is found that the waste after the burning of garbage will cause marine pollution.
A research team composed of Tokyo University of Science and Ehime University conducted a survey of 36 locations in 29 rivers across Japan in response to the pollution of microplastics. This is a rare large-scale survey in the world. The survey results showed that microplastics were found in 26 of these rivers (accounting for 90%). In addition, the research team also confirmed that the greater the impact of human activities on rivers, the greater the pollution of microplastics throughout the basin. A large amount of plastic waste in Japan will drift to the United States, Canada, and the west coast of Alaska with the current; some plastic waste will also flow to the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries due to the current.
To Japan, the government hopes to reduce its plastic products to about 2.35 million tons by 2030 after issuing a policy Prohibition of Plastic Orders. In order to reduce global plastic pollution, countries around the world are actively participating in the development of countermeasures to reduce plastic pollution, which brings new business opportunities to Japanese companies with unique technologies.