Toshiba Environmental Solutions Corporation
The importance of further promoting plastic resource circulation has been increasing due to the need to respond to the issues of marine plastic debris and climate change.
In April 2022, the “Act on Promotion of Resource Circulation for Plastics” (Plastic Resource Circulation Act) was brought into effect for the purpose of encouraging all kinds of associations to work on plastic resource circulation in the entire lifecycle of plastic products from their design to their disposal.
Waste plastics that were exported to developing countries have been causing water contamination due to detergent drain discharged during the recycling process. In addition, leaking of plastic residue into the sea due to inappropriate treatment has also been pointed out (Fig. 1). As such, developing countries have started to impose restrictions on the export of waste plastics. In January 2021, the Annex to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was revised and dirty waste plastics were added to the items subject to regulations. According to the revision, the consent of the other country is now required to export harmful plastic waste and plastic waste requiring special consideration.