Initiatives to Achieve Carbon Neutrality in the Waste Management Sector in Japan

Towards achieving carbon neutrality in 2050, the Ministry of the Environment, Japan (MOEJ) presented a medium- to long-term scenario in the waste and resource recycling sector in August 2021.

by Professor Masaki Takaoka

Japan's waste management is characterized by a high proportion of incineration, and in the waste sector, which is based on IPCC rules, more than 80% of CO2 emissions are associated with fuel use and incineration of waste. In other words, measures to deal with plastic waste and oil waste are needed. Therefore, the Plastic Resource Circulation Act has been put into place promoting the switch to bio-materials or alternatives, mechanical recycling, and feedstock recycling. The MOEJ’s scenario indicates that net-zero emissions cannot be achieved by extending current technologies and that even if mechanical and feedstock recycling, etc. are promoted through technologies to be developed in the future, about half of the municipal solid waste to be incinerated will remain, resulting in the emission of about 6 million tons of CO2. Therefore, Carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies are essential, and various CCUS technologies are currently being developed.
Find the slides of the presentation here

published: , 11|2023
Keywords: Pollution Control, Resource management, Japan