July 22, 2019
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) hereby announces that METI inaugurated the Committee on the Study of Standardizations for Marine Biodegradable Plastics, a body to hold deliberations on highly reliable methods for solving marine plastic waste issues. The committee will aim to file a proposal for international standards for marine biodegradable plastics* with international standards organizations in order to encourage industries to popularize the development and introduction of such plastics as an initiative for solving the issues using innovations.
In recent years, society has been facing an international challenge in addressing marine plastic wastes. At the G20 Osaka Summit Meeting held in June 2019, the G20 leaders shared the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision, a goal that G20 countries aim to reduce additional pollution by marine plastic wastes to zero by 2050.
As for its efforts, METI considers it most important to appropriately control waste materials, and based on this stance, it has been promoting the 3R campaign of reuse, reduce and recycle in a steady manner. In addition, aiming to further address risks that waste may flow out to the sea even after taking certain measures, METI will encourage industries to promote technical development of new materials and materials alternative to plastics. Through this effort, it will strive to contribute to the world through innovation.
Along with this, in May 2019, METI formulated a Roadmap for Popularizing Development and Introduction of Marine Biodegradable Plastics. The roadmap aims to encourage industries to popularize the development and introduction of marine biodegradable plastics by collaborating with the public and private sectors. This is a compilation of expected major challenges, including not only technical but economic and institutional ones as well. These are expected to occur throughout the various stages of the development of such new technologies and materials. .
As a concrete initiative to achieve the goal of the “implementation of technologies for commercializing such biodegradable plastics,” a component of the roadmap, METI inaugurated the Committee on Study of Standardizations for Marine Biodegradable Plastics to hold deliberate common methods of technical assessment based on scientific grounds under the framework of industry-academia-government collaboration. Through its discussions, the committee will aim to file a proposal for international standards for marine biodegradable plastics with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and other international standards organizations in the early 2020s. It is hoped that this will enhance public trust in marine degradable plastics and cultivate new demand thereof.
- List of the committee members (in Japanese) (PDF:270KB)
- Summary of the minutes of the first meeting of the committee (in Japanese)(PDF:117KB)
*Note: Marine biodegradable plastics are plastics degradable into water and carbon dioxide with the help of microorganisms in the sea.
- Roadmap for Popularizing Development and Introduction of Marine Biodegradable Plastics (overview) (in Japanese)(PDF:1,057KB)
- Roadmap for Popularizing Development and Introduction of Marine Biodegradable Plastics (full text) (in Japanese) (PDF:1,884KB)
Division in Charge
- Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Division, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau
- Material Industries Division, Manufacturing Industries Bureau
- Bio-Industry Division, Commerce and Service Industry Policy Group
- International Standardization Division, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau,