3R Initiative

G8 Environmental Minister Meeting

A G8 Environment Ministers Meeting was held in Kobe on May 24~26, 2008. The meeting adopted 3R as a main objective of the meeting as well as climate change. There were G8 countries, the European Commission, other participating countries such as Brazil, China, India, Mexico, South Africa and Korea, and international organizations and networks including OECD, UNEP, the Secretariat of the Basel Convention.

As a result, it was confirmed that approaches for 3R have spread among G8 states and other countries since the first proposal for the 3R Initiative in 2004 at the G8 Sea Island Summit. And it was also recognized that the 3R Initiative has been playing a significant role providing a platform to share information concerning 3R related policies, and to exchange opinions and experiences among the countries.

In addition, the “Kobe 3R Action Plan”, including actions and objectives to encourage further 3R development among G8 states, was agreed upon. At the same time, Japan announced a new action plan called the “New Zero Waste International Action Plan” to declare Japanese contribution for the establishment of sustainable societies in Asian countries and regions.

Of note, a joint program to reduce plastic bags is going to be practiced among three Asian countries including Japan, China, and Korea, as the policy for plastic bag reduction started in China in June, 2008. Through the concerted action by three countries, relevant policies are to be proposed to other Asian countries and international communities. This effort was reported in the G8 Environment Ministers Meeting by Mr. Kamoshita, the Environmental Minister of Japan, and G8 countries also decided an appeal calling for other countries to reduce disposable products.

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