Saturday, August 11, 2018

Japan's New Plastic Law

Japan recently enacted a law to reduce the amount of microplastics dumped into the ocean but the law did not include sanctions for failing to comply with the law.  The law seeks to encourage businesses to reduce their use of microplastics, including microbeads (those tiny plastic particles used in cosmetic products). Microbeads and chipped plastic waste from grocery bags and cups end up in the ocean, causing a build up that is harming the environment and choking marine life. Last year, researchers found that 40 percent of fish caught around Japan had microplastics in their digestive systems.  I hate to think of the plastics inside of humans. The new law also encourages local governments to educate residents about recycling and reduction of plastic use. 

This is a huge problem world-wide.  I read about many companies that are discontinuing plastic straws and other one use plastic items. Is this too little too late? Will the new law cause any changes when there is not punishment fo rthose who do not comply?  What is being done in your country about this problem?


abbeysmum said...

Well it's a start, that's something.
In Australia most states have banned single use plastic bags at shop checkouts, even charity shops, so where ever you buy anything you have to buy a more sturdy , reusable bag or bring your own bag (which I've been doing for years with fabric bags) it is just a matter of getting into the habit of making sure there are bags in your car or handbag.
I did notice when in Japan last year that the shops use plastic bags for the tiniest purchase, often beautiful but still poluting.
Japan was very clean everywhere we went and I assume they do a really good job of recycling with bins everywhere.
There is a lot of publicity about taking your own cup for coffee etc and trying not to use takeaway cups, we all thought they were recyclable paper/cardboard but they have a plastic coating inside which makes it difficult.
Lets hope this first step raises people's awareness and starts the ball rolling.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pamela yes Australia is doing what abbysmum said ,gee i think we will all need to turn vegetarian,i always though eating fish was safe,we dont eat much beef mainly chicken and a little bit of fish,what a worry as nothing we are eating is safe and natural,hope you have a lovely weekend my friend xx

Lin said...

The world is slowly waking up to the dangers of plastic but sadly it is coming far too late. Banning single use plastic is a start. We have compostable plastic bags for fruit and veg purchase now but one shop uses paper bags which of course are reusable, much more sensible. I notice that my husbands bird magazine came in a compostable bag too. It is difficult to but any food that is not wrapped in plastic these days though. xx

Brigitte said...

I think it's high time that something is done against all those plastic things that pollute the soils and the water. I'm not sure if this works without sanctions but it's a start. It's better than doing nothing. I use as little plastic as possible and when I go shopping it's only with tote bags and my baskets.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Well, I live in the USA, home of a Dictator Wanna Be who can't see past his ego. Our government is too wrapped up in trying to keep up with his commotion to do anything of value. Luckily, some companies are taking it on themselves to eliminate plastics, but it's just a minute bit of what needs to be done. It's a sad situation.
xx, Carol

kiwikid said...

I am mm in Australia too, so the first comment applies, I have small net bags for the fruit and veg to save using plastic bags, local supermarket has stopped providing plastic bags now. Lots of anti plastic straw publicity happening.

Leonore Winterer said...

I think Japan is about the only country where a law without consequences could actually work...although I'm not sure how much this honour coode will be worth when it's about money in a coorporate context. Still, I totally support every law that helps the environment!