Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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Recycling Policy
Japan's Progress Toward a Sustainable Society
Japan's Material Balance: Waste Generated and Recycled
Below we describe Japan's "material balance." How much material is going into circulation and where does it end up? The total inputs, or material consumption, amount to 2.2 billion tonnes, 26% (570 million tonnes) of which is eventually disposed as waste and byproducts. Out of the waste, 49% (280 million tonnes) is recycled. The remaining 51% undergoes incineration or other intermediate treatment, resulting in 50 million tonnes sent to the landfill.
What Does a 'Sustainable Society' Look Like?
We say it is our goal to create a "Sustainable society" that has balance between the environment and the economy. But what exactly does such a society look like? From the viewpoint of material balance, it must be an economic system where material consumption (in Japan's case, one third of it imported from overseas) is as efficient as possible, waste generated is as small as possible, and the waste recycling rate is as high as possible.
Progress of '3R' Policy-Recycling-related Laws, Guidelines, and Policies
How is the progress of our "3R" policy so far in moving toward such an economic system? Thanks to the consolidation of more than 10 years of experience and policies related to reducing waste and promoting recycling since the Resource Recycling Promotion Law entered into effect in 1991 (later amended to Law for the Promotion of Utilisation of Recyclable Resources), Japan's legislation has become quite systematic in its coverage of these issues. Besides this legislation, if we also consider the Industrial Structure Council's Guidelines, by product category and by industry, there are now policies in place for every type of waste. Because of these achievements, our recycling rate is relatively high.
The Challenges of 3R Policy - Initiatives to 'Reduce' and 'Reuse'
Despite good progress so far, Japan's material consumption and waste generated are still too high. Challenges remain if Japan is to achieve greater results in "reducing" consumption and "reusing" used material. METI is working in such areas as promoting recycling of individual product categories, improving "upstream" strategies (at the design and manufacturing stages), strategically using standards for the 3Rs, and creating local resource-recycling systems. METI also continues to promote the Eco Town Program and the Local 3R Support Program.
Japan's Material Balance (FY2001)
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3R Policies
- Overview of 3R Policies
- Key Issues and Current Status
- Japan's Progress Toward a Sustainable Society
- Eco Town Program
- Local 3R Support Program
- Awards Programs
- METI Recycling Guidelines
- Identification
- October is "3R Month" in Japan
Legislation
Industrial Structure Council
White Papers and Other Report
Statistics
Information materials
If you have any comments, please send an email to:
3r-info■meti.go.jp
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Last Update: October 1, 2004
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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