August 6, 2003
The Ministry of the Environment conducted a survey on the status of sorted collection and recycling of wastes including the total volume of waste collected and recycled by municipalities in accordance with the Law for the Promotion of Sorted Collection and Recycling of Containers and Packaging, often referred to as the "Containers and Packaging Recycling Law," issuing results of the survey as follows.
Implementation Status and Trends in FY 2002
The number of municipalities conducting sorted collection has increased with regard to every item compared to FY 2001. The volume of waste collected separately and recycled also increased with regard to every item, except for glass bottles and steel cans, of which manufactured volume had decreased. This shows that the system under this law is well recognized and has taken root in society.
The volume of used PET bottles collected in FY 2002 was approximately 120% that of FY 2001. The recovery rate of used PET bottles, calculated by dividing the volume of sorted collection by the volume of recycling, exceeded 45% in FY 2002, with this rate steadily increasing year by year. Assessing trends regarding the volume of waste*, derived from the difference between the collected volume of waste and the recycled volume, it was found that the recycled volume increased by approximately 2% compared to FY 2001 while the volume of waste decreased by 10,000 tons compared with FY1998 figures.
*The voluntary collection of used PET bottles by businesses is conducted in addition to sorted collection undertaken by municipal governments. The figure here was estimated based on the difference versus the volume of used PET bottles collected by municipalities only.
The used plastic containers and packages other than PET bottles and used paper containers and packages were designated as additional items subject to the law in April 2000. In FY 2002, three years after this designation, the collected volume of used plastic containers and packages and used paper containers and packages increased 140% and 120% respectively compared with FY 2001 figures.
Future Scope and Challenges
The plan covering sorted collection by municipalities is a five-year plan which is reviewed every three years. The second review since the enforcement of the law was conducted in FY 2002. In the sorted collection plan covering the period from FY 2003 to FY 2007, the number of municipalities conducting sorted collection is expected to reach 3,231 within the next five years, a figure representing 99.7% of all municipalities. This means almost all municipalities will be undertaking sorted collection of one or more kinds of used containers and packaging.
The volume of sorted collection of used plastic containers and packages is expected to increase further in the future. Approximately 2,700 municipalities, a figure representing over 80% of all municipalities, will be conducting sorted collection by FY 2007, with volume expected to exceed 920,000 tons.
Plans covering recycling were reviewed in FY 2002, and the capacity of recycling facilities is expected to be sufficient to process the anticipated volume of sorted collection.
Sorted collection and recycling of containers and packages should be further promoted, focusing in particular on plastic containers and packages regarding which the sorted collection rate has not reached 50% in terms of the number of implementing municipalities. This should be done in line with the plan for sorted collection covering FY 2003 to FY 2007, stipulated in FY 2002 along with improvements to the recycling system.
The volume of sorted collection, volume of recycling and number of municipalities conducting sorted collection in FY2002, along with trends for these items, are indicated below.
|*||Annual Trends in the Volume of Sorted Collection, Volume of Recycled Waste and the Number of Municipalities Conducting Sorted Collection|
|*||State of Sorted Collection and Recycling of Used Containers and Packaging in FY2002|