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Photo by Takuya Matsumoto courtesy of Earth911 Photo by Takuya Matsumoto, courtesy of Earth911

Japan to Ask Local Municipalities to Handle Industrial Plastic Waste

Japan has been facing increased growth of plastic waste since the implementation of China’s import ban.

Japan's Ministry of the Environment is considering asking municipalities to accept and dispose of industrial plastic waste as an emergency step, as the amount of waste has increased amid China’s import ban.

The ministry is set to make the request by the end of this month to municipal governments, which currently collect and dispose of household garbage. Municipalities that will accept the request will charge businesses for plastic waste incineration costs by revising related ordinances, after receiving consent from local residents.

The move will add to the tasks of local governments that already process household waste at their incinerators, according to a report in The Mainichi.

“As a stopgap measure, the ministry will call on local bodies to accept industrial plastic waste from companies and other businesses for a certain period and consider financial and other support for municipalities that comply with the request,” according to the report.

Japan exported some 1.5 million tons of plastic waste as resources in 2016 and 1.4 million tons in 2017, according to trade statistics from the Finance Ministry.

After China banned imports of plastic waste at the end of 2017, Japan has been facing growth in the amount of such materials. Before the introduction of the ban, China was a major importer of plastic waste from Japan.

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