The Growth of PET Bottle Recycling in Japan

5 October 2021, 14:00 – 16:00 (JST)

In recent years, many countries around the world have enjoyed the economic benefits of plastics while simultaneously facing serious environmental problems caused by their inappropriate disposal. In order to tackle concerns about plastics, these countries, as well as the international community, have been working to create new legislative and corporate initiatives. In this context, and to strengthen control over the use of plastics, Japan started charging for plastic bags in 2020, and adopted the Act on the Promotion of Resource Recycling for Plastics in 2021. 

Among plastics, PET has been one of the most widely utilised materials since it was first synthesized in the mid-1940s. Globally, more than 50% of synthetic fiber is produced from PET, and as an inert polymer it serves as an ideal material for beverage bottles which require a barrier to the ingress of oxygen. In addition, PET is the most recycled plastic. In Japan, the collection rate for PET bottles has reached 90% (PET Bottle Recycling Promotion Council, 2017), which is quite high compared to Europe and the US. Both the 1997 Container and Packaging Recycling Law and widespread practice of sorting waste among consumers contribute to this high collection ratio. 

CCET is organising a webinar that features speakers from the Ministry of the Environment, local municipalities, recycling companies, the beverage federation, Containers and Packaging Recycling Association, and others involved in the recycling of PET bottles in Japan. It will be held in October in consideration of urban sustainability, as that month is defined as "Urban October" by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT).

CCET has continuously supported partner countries’ governments in waste management, especially among developing countries in Asia. The aim of this event is to introduce Japanese PET bottle recycling initiatives and best practices to government officials, local authorities, beverage companies, recycling consultants and others involved in waste management in developing countries. At the same time, the webinar provides an opportunity for Japanese participants to gain an overview of PET bottle recycling in Japan.
The webinar will include presentations and discussions on the background, drivers, successes and challenges of PET bottle recycling in Japan, including the role of government, technology development and the responsibilities of manufacturers.

Event Details

5 October 2021, 14:00 – 16:00 (JST)


English / Japanese
Related Links

IGES Centre Collaborating with UNEP on Environmental Technologies (CCET)
2108-11 Kamiyamaguchi, Hayama, Kanagawa, 240-0115 Japan
Tel: +81-46-874-7636 Fax: +81-46-855-3809 E-mail: [email protected]

Presentation Materials

14:00-14:05 Introduction CCET PDF (1.0MB)
Moderator: Mr. Shunichi Honda, Programme Officer, International Environmental Technology Centre, UNEP


Opening remark

Ms. Nao Takeuchi, Waste Management Specialist, UN-Habitat

PDF (2.3MB)


Presentation 1

The recycling of plastic and PET bottles in Japan from the government’s perspective
Mr. Shintaro Murai
Deputy Director, Office of Recycle Promotion, Environmental Resource Circulation Division, Ministry of the Environment

PDF (925KB)


Presentation 2

The role of the Japan Containers and Packaging Recycling Association, and successes and challenges for improving PET bottle recycling
Mr. Satoshi Maekawa
Executive Director, Chief of PET bottle Division, The Japan Containers And Packaging Recycling Association

PDF (388KB)
14:30-14:40 Presentation 3

City initiatives for collecting PET bottles
Mr. Nobuhiko Osawa
Waste Management Office, Environment Division, Kawasaki city

PDF (2.2MB)


Presentation 4

Initiatives by the Japan Soft Drink Association for improving PET bottle collection
Mr. Shunichi Nasu
Planning Department Manager, Japan Soft Drink Association

PDF (4.4MB)


Presentation 5 Business activities and technology development from the perspective of a recycling company, JEPLAN
Mr. Masaki, Takao
Founder and CEO JEPLAN, INC.  
PDF (2.7MB)