August 25, 2004
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 2003
The number of municipalities conducting sorted collection has increased with regard to every item except for steel and aluminum cans1) compared to FY 2002. The volume of waste collected separately and recycled also increased with regard to every item, except for and steel and aluminum cans, of which consumption volume had decreased. This shows that the system under this law is well recognized and has taken root in society.
|The number of municipalities conducting sorted collection and recycling decreased, since the number of municipalities decreased by merger outnumbered the municipalities launched sorted collection and recycling.
The volume of used PET bottles collected in FY 2003 was approximately 110% that of FY 2002. The recovery rate of used PET bottles, calculated by dividing the volume of sorted collection by the volume of manufacturing, totaled 48.5% in FY 2003, with this rate steadily increasing year by year. Assessing trends2) regarding the volume of wasted PET bottles, derived from the difference between the separately collected volume of used PET bottles and the manufactured volume, it was found that the recycled volume increased by approximately 6% compared to FY 2002 while the volume of waste decreased by 9,000 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. Survey conducted by the Council for PET Bottle Recycling shows that the volume of wasted PET bottles totaled approximately 171 thousand tons, which decreased by approximately 26 thousand tons compared to FY 1997, including approximately 54 thousand tons (collected rate was 60.9%) of used PET bottles collected by businesses in FY 2003.
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 2003, four years after this designation, the collected volume of used plastic containers and packages and used paper containers and packages increased 140% and 130% respectively compared with FY 2002 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 20073), 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 fourth plan for sorted collection from FY2006 through FY2010 will be developed in FY 2005.
The volume of sorted collection of used plastic containers and packages other than used PET bottles 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 thousand 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 60% in terms of the number of implementing municipalities.
|State of Sorted Collection and Recycling of Used Containers and Packaging in FY 2003
|* Fig. 1
|Trends in Volume of Sorted Collection
|* Fig. 2
|Trends in Volume of Recycled Waste
|* Fig. 3
|Number of Municipalities Conducting Sorted Collection