Japan is the second largest user of plastics behind the United States and has long struggled with its plastic consumption. Unlike other countries, Japan incinerates a great deal of its plastics, but a rising amount of plastic is finding its way into the ecosystem. The use of plastics in Japan is deeply rooted in the culture’s need to wrap gifts which is a sign of honor and respect.
But now more stores are trying to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags and extra plastic wrapping. Many retailers are allowing consumers to bring their own reusable bags now and some shops have even allowed bulk shopping without any packaging at all. For a country that is well known for its vending machines and PET bottles, there is a growing number of refillable water stations around Tokyo and other major metropolitan areas.
Major waste management companies like Waste Management (NYSE:WM), Clean Harbor (NYSE:CLH), and Veolia Environnement (OTC:VEOEY) are implementing plastic waste and recycling programs in their jurisdictions. Other companies like Clean Vision Corp (OTC:CLNV) are helping to establish PCNs or plastic conversion networks that use pyrolysis to convert collected plastic waste into hydrogen-based fuel sources. Through its subsidiary CleanSeas, the company has already entered agreements with India, Sri Lanka, Morocco, and Turkey to install these PCNs. Plastic waste and pollution is a global crisis, but each company can do their part to alleviate the problem one bottle at a time.
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