March 9, 2021
On March 9, 2021, a Cabinet Decision was made on the Bill for the Act on Promotion of Resource Circulation for Plastics. The bill will be submitted to the ongoing 204th ordinary session of the Diet.
1. Purpose of the bill
Triggered by global actions on such issues as marine plastic litter issues, climate change and the enhanced import control of waste materials in other countries, Japan recognizes the growing importance of further promotion of domestic resource circulation for plastics. In light of this, the bill is to take measures for promoting efforts for resource circulation for plastics targeting all entities involved in the entire lifecycle of plastic-containing products ranging from design to waste disposal.
2. Outline of the bill
(1) Guidelines for design of plastic-containing products
The Act is to stipulate the guidelines for measures which manufacturers and other businesses should strive to take in designing plastic-containing products, and to encourage businesses to procure and use such products manufactured in accordance with designs that the Competent Minister has certified to be in conformity with such guidelines.
(2) Rational use of specified plastic-containing products
The Act is to stipulate the criteria for measures which providers of specified plastic-containing products (i.e., plastic-containing products provided to consumers free of charge along with sales of goods and provision of services) should take in order to reduce the total amount of waste plastic-containing products and also to take measures for requiring such providers to make rational use of such products.
(3) Sorted collection and recycling by municipalities
The Act is to introduce a system in which municipalities and recycling businesses are able to effectively recycle waste of plastic-containing products taking advantage of the systems under the Act on the Promotion of Sorted Collection and Recycling of Containers and Packaging.
(4) Collection and recycling by manufacturers, sellers and other businesses
Concerning used plastic-containing products that manufacturers and other businesses have manufactured and sold, the Act is to require the government to approve business plans for voluntary collection and recycling submitted by such manufacturers, etc. and thereby to establish a system in which such manufacturers, etc. are able to recycle such used products without receiving a permit under the provisions of the Waste Management and Public Cleaning Act.
(5) Waste reduction and recycling by waste generating businesses
The Act is to stipulate the criteria for measures which waste generating businesses should take for promoting waste reduction, recycling, and is to require the government to approve business plans for recycling submitted by such businesses, etc. and thereby to establish a system in which such businesses, etc. are able to recycle waste products without receiving a permit under the provisions of the Waste Management and Public Cleaning Act.
Division in Charge
Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Division, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau