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Japan's Approach to the 3Rs

Law concerning the Promotion of Procurement of Eco-Friendly Goods and Services by the State and Other Entities (Law on Promoting Green Purchasing)

1. The aims of the Law
In order to establish a sound material-cycle society, it is important not only to enhance efforts on supply side of recycled products but to ensure the demand for them. This Law was enacted in May 2000 and was fully put into effect in April 2001 to contribute to the establishment of a sound material-cycle society. The aims of this law is to shift the demand through prioritizing the procurement of eco-friendly goods by public sectors including national government and through dissemination of information on those goods in line with the principle of the Fundamental Law for Establishing a Sound Material-cycle Society.
2. Promotion of purchasing of eco-friendly goods by the government
The Law on Promoting Green Purchasing defines goods which will promote the reduction of environmental impact as eco-friendly goods and services, which includes recycled products.

The Government is required to stipulate the basic policy for the procurement of eco-friendly goods, etc. (hereinafter referred to as the "basic policy"), which will include (i) the basic direction of promoting purchasing of eco-friendly goods, (ii) designated procurement items (items that the government and other institutions shall focus on in promoting purchasing of eco-friendly goods), (iii) key issues in regard to the promotion of other eco-friendly goods. The government including the Diet, ministries, courts, and independent administrative institutions and special public corporations designated by the ministerial ordinance are required to develop and publish their own procurement policy to promote procurement of eco-friendly goods, etc. every fiscal year based on the basic policy, setting up specific target to expand the procurement of eco-friendly goods. The achievement rate of the target is released after a fiscal year is over.

Local governments and local independent administrative agencies are required to promote procurement of eco-friendly products by setting up a principle, while citizens and business entities are required to prioritize the purchase of eco-friendly goods and services as much as possible. Since excessive purchase of eco-friendly goods, followed by excessive use and discharge of them is not desirable in terms of environmental conservation, the Law requires the government, governmental entities, local authorities and local independent administrative bodies not to increase the volume of procurement for the sake of promotion of green purchasing.
3. Promotion of providing information on eco-friendly goods
Provision of information about eco-friendly goods is one of the key factors of promotion of the green purchasing. The law stipulates that; (i) manufacturers, importers or retailers shall provide environmental information on the goods which they deal with in an appropriate manner; (ii) in order to enhance the quality of the information provided, (e.g., environment labels), those who provide information on environmental goods provided as the third party should be as effective and appropriate as possible and should be based on scientific knowledge, taking account the consistency with international agreements; and (iii) the government is required to organize and analyze current status of providing information on environmental goods released by manufacturers and environmental labeling institutions.
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