Cabinet Approves Legislation for Establishing Recycle-Based Society

Spotlight Activity: Cabinet Approves Legislation for Establishing Recycle-Based Society

The cabinet has approved a bill reducing waste and strengthening resource management, which passed Upper House four days earlier, on June 19th. Together with this bill, legislation for reducing microplastics and combating ocean pollution was also enacted. Japan has been criticized both domestically and internationally for it did not sign the Ocean Plastic Charter at the G7 summit in early June. This legislation might be a first response to such criticisms.

Suga said the government will draw up a recycling strategy for plastic waste before Japan hosts next year’s summit of the Group of 20 nations.

Overall, the new legislation requests companies to become more resource-efficient and to reduce waste and recycle more. However, impacts of the legislation as a whole remains to be seen.

Status: Standing Still

The new legislation is definitely better than doing nothing, but the legislation lacks concrete measures to effectively implement its targets. The government needs to seriously consider how to motivate all the stakeholders to comply. As mentioned earlier, this corresponds to the criticisms on Japan’s noncompliance to the Ocean Plastic Charter. Nevertheless, it should be reviewed carefully and a mechanism for punishing companies which do not make any effort to reduce plastics is still needed.

Take Action

Ask members of the Diet to improve the legislation to be more specific and verifiable. Additionally, ask leaders including the minister of the Environment and Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) to take the initiative and call for cooperation from private companies. To take action, simply fill out your name and email in the form below and the message will be sent.

    Your message will be sent to:

    Minister of the Environment
    Mr. Masaharu Nakagawa

    Keidanren (Japan Business Federation)

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