Proposals to Strengthen Japan's Domestic Measures and Regional Cooperation on Stable and Environmentally Sound Plastic Scrap Recycling: Response to China's ban on imports of plastic scrap

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October 2018
Authors: 
Yoshinori Morita, Shiko Hayashi
Source: 
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
The policy brief Proposals to Strengthen Japan's Domestic Measures and Regional Cooperation on Stable and Environmentally Sound Plastic Scrap Recycling: Response to China's ban on imports of plastic scrap recommends policymakers in Asia to develop a uniform, standardized, and transparent trade standards for plastic scrap in the region through international cooperation, and to establish environmentally sound long-term material recycling routes.
 
China's restrictions on plastic scrap imports have resulted in the shifting of the recycling routes of plastic scrap generated in Japan. Due to the high demand for plastic raw materials in China, the new recycling routes have been developed whereby plastic scrap is exported from Japan to be recycled and processed in Southeast and East Asian countries. However, risks for environmental pollution are escalating rapidly in these countries due to the rapid increase of imported plastic scrap. 
 
Therefore, the policy brief recommends the policymakers in Japan to collect accurate data about the recycling or processing routes for all plastic scrap and the volume of recycled or processed in each route. It emphasizes the importance of the data to develop necessary strategies to expand domestic plastic scrap processing capacity for low-grade plastic scrap and to strengthen the promotion of domestic material recycling within Japan. 
 
Regions: 
Asia
Sectors: 
Waste