Tag - plastic



McDonald's Japan will start charging ¥5 for plastic bags of all sizes at some stores, starting in April.
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 20, 2024
McDonald's Japan announces trial ¥5 plastic bag charge to curb usage
The firm will eye expanding the fee nationwide following a trial at 23 of its stores in Nagasaki Prefecture starting in April.
Seoul may be a cosmetic surgery mecca, but Tokyo has its fair share of high-quality clinics as well.
Feb 12, 2024
A wrinkles-and-all guide to cosmetic surgery in Japan
Japan is uniquely positioned between two opposing hot spots of the beauty industry: Seoul and Tokyo.
A paper published in The Lancet in December found that plastics likely enter most of our major organs and even affect the good bacteria that makes up our microbiome.
Jan 14, 2024
We don't know how worried we should be about nanoplastics
Nanoparticles can slip into the bloodstream, get into organs, and sneak into cells where they may cause harm.
Columbia University researchers have found that on average, bottled water contain 110,000 to 370,000 tiny plastic particles in each liter, 90% of them nanoplastics.
ENVIRONMENT / Sustainability
Jan 9, 2024
Bottled water has more plastic particles than previously thought
The discovery of nanoplastics, which could not be detected until recently, suggests that health concerns linked to plastic pollution may be dramatically underestimated.
Workers collect recyclable garbage including plastic bottles on World Environment Day in Tokyo in June 2020.
Dec 6, 2023
New solutions tackle Japan’s waste problem at its core
Issues like the plastics and climate crises seem insurmountable — until we apply "systemic design," as several Japanese initiatives are showing.
Staff at the Tokyo Legacy Half Marathon 2023 collect used paper cups after the event on Oct. 15.
JAPAN / Society
Nov 9, 2023
Japanese paper-makers pioneer domestic recycling of paper cups
Until now paper cups have typically been discarded as flammable waste, but are made from high quality pulp that can be reused.
Plastic waste in Yangon's Shwepyithar township. In a working-class neighborhood of Myanmar's Yangon, plastic waste is piled a meter high, the toxic product of what a recent investigation says is rampant dumping of Western trash.
ENVIRONMENT / Sustainability
Oct 20, 2023
'License to hide': Western plastic waste dumped in Myanmar
For years, sites across Shwepyithar township have been filling up with trash that chokes fields, blocks the drainage of rains and causes fire risks.
Identifying a sustainable product can involve evaluating claims about emissions, plastic use, water waste and packaging recyclability.
ENVIRONMENT / Sustainability
Sep 19, 2023
Regulators are trying to stop greenwashing before it gets worse
The range of agencies tackling dubious sustainability claims is indicative of its ambiguity and breadth.
A municipality worker collects garbage, most of which is plastic and domestic waste, along the shore of Jakarta.
ENVIRONMENT / Sustainability
Sep 4, 2023
Trash to treasure: Indonesian firm turns plastic into bricks
The company mixes volcanic ash, mountain stones, plastic waste and cement to make its bricks, which do not contain sand like regular ones.
The Environment Ministry plans to launch a survey in fiscal 2024 on how manufacturers recycle plastics and metals contained in industrial waste.
Aug 28, 2023
Japan to conduct survey on closed-loop recycling
Closed-loop recycling is spreading in recent years on the back of improvements in technology to remove impurities from recyclable waste.
Japan's major paper manufacturers are developing a new fiber to expand the use of wood amid a decline in domestic demand for paper.
Aug 21, 2023
Japan paper industry to develop new wood fiber material
With demand for paper in the doldrums, the industry is looking to expand the use of wood, a renewable resource, beyond paper products.
Japan Times
Jun 30, 2023
AI robots can’t clean our plastic-plagued oceans alone
AI technology can help mitigate environmental damage but it can’t solve the problem of the plastics polluting the oceans.
Japan Times
Jun 30, 2023
Jumbo problem: Sri Lanka's battle with plastic pollution
The island"s unprecedented economic crisis means there has been a pile-up of trash because of a shortage of fuel for garbage trucks.
Japan Times
Jun 26, 2023
The world is losing the 'war on plastic.' What can be done to curb waste?
The U.N. this month took a major step toward what could become the world’s first treaty to curb plastic pollution. But a recent report highlights the immense challenge that lies ahead.
Japan Times
Jun 3, 2023
After rough start, U.N. plastic treaty talks end with mandate for first draft
By the session"s close, countries agreed to prepare a "zero draft" text of what would become a legally binding plastics treaty.
Japan Times
May 29, 2023
Recycling in focus as plastics treaty talks get underway in Paris
Many countries have said a goal of the treaty should be "circularity" — or keeping already produced plastic items in circulation as long as possible.
Japan Times
May 2, 2023
'Horizontal recycling' gives plastics a second life
Through the process, used plastic bottles and other items can be repeatedly recycled into the same thing without the need for new petroleum-derived materials.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Regional Voices: Hiroshima
Apr 3, 2023
Aiming for zero waste, Hiroshima firms gear up for plastic recycling drive
A number of companies based in the prefecture are either developing their own recycling techniques or contributing to wider efforts to improve local environmental standards.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Mar 13, 2023
Rice into low-carbon plastic: bringing hope to a struggling Fukushima town
A toasted rice aroma hangs around the factory line, where rice is combined with small plastic beads, heated and kneaded before being extruded in thin rods.
Japan Times
Mar 6, 2023
Is biodegradable better? Making sense of 'compostable' plastics.
Some fear these "magical" solutions could lead to further environmental havoc and even encourage more wasteful consumption.


Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves