Tuesday June 25, 2019
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Japan Adopts Policy Package Aimed at Cutting Plastic Waste Ahead of Osaka G20 Summit

The new policies will be aimed at reducing the dumping of plastics into the ocean

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Japan, Policy Package, Plastic Waste
Many countries are having trouble managing the growing amount of plastic waste. Pixabay

Japan on Friday adopted a series of measures to reduce the production of plastic waste ahead of the G20 summit in Osaka city at the end of June, where the issue is one of the main items on the agenda.

The new policies will be aimed at reducing the dumping of plastics into the ocean, encouraging recycling of plastic bottles and combating pollution of oceans by microplastics, tiny bits of plastic trash that are a threat to marine birds and fish and which, according to experts, can pose a risk to human health.

“Ocean plastic waste is one of the issues topping the G20 summit agenda. As the chair of the meeting, we will exercise leadership to solve the matter,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a meeting where the policy package was finalized, Japanese news agency Kyodo reported.

The plan includes providing support to the development of biodegradable materials and the promotion of recycling. It requires retailers to charge customers for plastic bags while calling for an increased use of bioplastics made of renewable resources such as plants.

Japan, Policy Package, Plastic Waste
Japan on Friday adopted a series of measures to reduce the production of plastic waste . Pixabay

The measures also ask manufacturers to stop the use of microbeads in facewash and toothpaste and urge municipalities located near rivers to prevent plastic waste from finding its way into the sea, according to Efe news.

Japan, the world’s second largest generator of plastic waste per capita after the US, has proposed cutting plastic trash by 25 per cent by 2030 and completely recycling and reusing such waste, including components used in household electric appliances and automobiles, by 2035.

Many countries are having trouble managing the growing amount of plastic waste, which disintegrates into small pieces on exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and out of which over 8 million tonnes end up in the oceans, according to the UN.

Friends of the Earth, an international network of environmental organizations in 74 countries, estimates that there is currently around 150 tonnes of plastic waste in the oceans around the world and at the present rate, by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea.

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These wastes, which tend to absorb harmful chemicals, are difficult to remove once they’re in water and end up being eaten by fish, birds and other animals, thereby moving up the food chain. (IANS)

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Nearly 50% of Singles in Japan Have no Dating Prospects, Reveals Survey

The same study conducted five years earlier showed 38.7 per cent in disagreement and 22.3 per cent in agreement

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Online Dating.
Online Dating. Pixabay

Nearly 50 per cent of singles in Japan who wish to get married are unable to find a suitable partner, with 61.4 per cent of the group stating they are not doing anything to change the situation, a government survey revealed on Tuesday.

A lack of opportunity to meet an appropriate partner, or not having enough financial resources or ability to get along with the opposite sex are cited as major reasons in the outcome of the survey included in its annual report on Japan’s declining birth-rate that was approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday morning, reports Kyodo News Agency.

The survey of around 4,000 men and women aged between 20 to 40 years old, conducted last December, found that 46.8 per cent of the respondents have said that they cannot find a suitable partner despite a desire to tie the knot.

The outcome prompted the government to recognize the need to continue measures supporting marriage amid the country’s rapidly aging population.

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A man uses the dating app Tinder in New Delhi, India. (VOA)

A separate government survey released earlier this month showed the number of newborns in Japan hitting a record-low of 918,397 in 2018, staying below the 1 million mark for the third year in a row.

On Tuesday, the Cabinet also approved an annual report on children and young people, in which it showed that 48.5 per cent of 13- to 29-year-olds disagree that men should be the breadwinner while women stayed at home, while 14.6 per cent agreed, Kyodo reported.

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The results of an online survey with 1,134 respondents, carried out last November and December, reflect a shifting mindset among Japan’s youth.

The same study conducted five years earlier showed 38.7 per cent in disagreement and 22.3 per cent in agreement. (IANS)