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每日跟讀#594: Can Japan end its love affair with plastic?


· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English
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每日跟讀#594: Can Japan end its love affair with plastic?

From bento boxes to individually wrapped bananas, plastic reigns supreme in Japan. According to the UN, Japan generates more plastic packaging waste per capita than any other country except the United States.


Therefore, in 2018, Japan’s government unveiled a proposal with the goal of reducing the country’s 9.4 million tonnes of plastic waste a year by 25 percent by 2030. A key part of the proposal is to require businesses to charge for plastic bags.


However, the proposals so far still lack any specific measures on limiting other types of single-use plastic waste, such as straws or cups. With the national government moving slowly, local governments and businesses have in some cases taken up the mantle themselves.


While public awareness about plastic pollution is growing in Japan, the country’s famed waste sorting and pristine streets had the effect of "hiding" the scale of the problem. The Japanese government needs more ambitious goals.


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