“Waste is now a global problem, and one that must be addressed in order to solve the world’s resource and energy challenges. Plastics are made from limited resources such as petroleum, and huge advances are being made in the development of technologies to recycle plastic waste among other resources. Mechanical recycling methods to make plastic products and feedstock recycling methods that use plastic as a raw material in the chemical industry have been widely adopted, and awareness has also grown recently of the importance of Thermal recycling as a means of using plastics as an energy source to conserve petroleum resources.
Japan is pursuing measures to create a recycling-oriented society in order to achieve sustainable development. Since the Basic Law for Promoting the Creation of a Recycling-oriented Society was enacted in 2000, a number of recycling-related laws have been enacted, come into force, been reviewed and amended. Based on this framework, action to promote the “three Rs” – i.e. reduction and reuse as well as recycling of waste has been stepped up to ensure a more effective use of resources. Meanwhile, the Ministry of the Environment continues to restrict final disposal sites and to direct incineration plants and similar sites that can emit toxins such as dioxins. Now that these are recognized as safe, the basic policy stated in the Waste Disposal Law was amended in May 2005 to say that “first, emission of …”
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