Abandoned plastic exporters urgently required to respond to the revision of the Basel Convention Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Midway Atoll Coast = October 2019 (AP), littered with plastic and other debris
In recent years, illegal dumping and improper disposal of waste plastics by Southeast Asian countries have exacerbated the problems of marine pollution and air pollution.
These countries import waste plastics from the United States, Japan, Europe, etc. and reuse them, but some of them contain dirty waste plastics that are unsuitable for recycling and "mixed plastics" that contain foreign substances. There is. Since they cannot be reused, they cause environmental problems such as illegal dumping into the ocean and air pollution caused by incineration in a simple incinerator.
China, which imported most of the world's waste plastics, took these environmental problems seriously and introduced import restrictions at the end of 2017. Since then, Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia, which have become alternative export destinations, have introduced import restrictions one after another, and Japan's waste plastic export volume has decreased.
In the midst of these import restrictions, in order to strengthen the restrictions on the exporting countries, an amendment to the Basel Convention Conference of the Parties in May 19 will make the export of dirty waste plastics unsuitable for recycling subject to the regulations of the Convention. Was adopted. The revised treaty is scheduled to come into effect on January 1, 2009, making it virtually difficult to export waste plastics that are unsuitable for recycling. This is expected to further promote the prevention of environmental pollution in importing countries.
On the other hand, domestic resource recycling of dirty waste plastic that has lost its place is urgently needed, and "chemical recycling" that decomposes waste plastic to the molecular level with heat or gas is drawing attention as a treatment means. In addition to being able to accept dirty, low-quality waste plastic, this method also shows that it has a high carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction effect in the "Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)" that takes into account everything from raw material collection to disposal. Therefore, expectations are rising for a transition to a carbon dioxide-free society and a circular economy. (Editorial cooperation = Development Bank of Japan )