We should take a leaf out of Japan’s book

Pacific Island countries, including Papua New Guinea, can learn a lot about recycling wastes from one of the world’s mega industrial and developed countries, Japan.

Japan is leading the way in recycling both home and industrial wastes from manufacturing companies.

Kawasaki City, which is just south of Japan's capital city, Tokyo, is one example of a cycle society that promotes the reduction of trash by reusing recycled wastes.

Similar to Port Moresby, Kawasaki has a growing population of 1.4 million people who produce large amounts of waste.

However, this is minimised when it is recycled into usable products like iron, zinc, new bottles, textile and stationary products, plastic products, iron construction products, toilet paper and aluminum cans.

Kawasaki has five waste collection offices, three waste treatment incineration facilities, two waste transfer stations, five recycling facilities and a landfill site of incineration ash located in a coastal area.

Loop PNG this week visited a three-tower condominium complex in Kawasaki called Foreseum, to learn how citizens sort and dispose trash and recyclables.

It was interesting to note that simply sorting out and separating the household rubbish from plastics, kitchen wastes and cans/glasses, the citizens help make it easier for the recycling process.

Life manager of the Haseko Community Inc., one of the contractors that gather the trash for collection, Mineo Yahata, explained that the different types of trash are collected on certain days of the week.

In a densely populated city like Moresby, with about 310000 people, this can be practiced as well if the Government and the National Capital District Commission (NCDC) can incorporate the idea into policy decision-making.

The idea of recycling can be established to manage the waste in the city and make people be responsible for their rubbish.

The next visit was to the Ukishima Waste Treatment Center, a municipal complex for household wastes collection, sorting and processing.

This facility separates the papers, heavy plastics and light plastics, which are then sent to recycling facilities and used as raw materials.

Assistant manager for the Kawasaki City Environment Protection Bureau-Public Waste Management Department, Shuichi Abe, said it's important to educate children at an early age on how to sort out trash so that they can grasp the idea and it becomes their way of life.

And finally, a visit to the Kawasaki Zero Emissions Industrial Park, where Corelex San-Ei Regulator-Tokyo Mill, Japan's major manufacturer of toilet paper from recycled paper goods, saw how the wastes are used as raw materials and recycled into toilet paper.

In Japan, there are one million tons of toilet paper rolls being supplied, out of which 650,000 rolls are from waste paper.

Corelex section manager Yoichi Ishii said Japan is one of the rare countries that have a wide variety of used products for toilet paper, including milk cartons, train tickets and used papers.

He said this is an example of how all different types of wastes can be recycled instead of being disposed, adding pollution to the environment.

The idea of recycling promotes sustainable use of wastes and a cleaner environment.

The visits were organised by the Association for Promotion of International Cooperation and Foreign Press Center Japan for participants in the 2016 Pacific-Caribbean Journalists Program.

Quintina Naime