The Japan Clean Ocean Material Alliance (CLOMA) is serving a central role in bringing together domestic companies to help solve the issue of ocean plastic waste. As of January 2021, the alliance consists of 393 companies and organizations from throughout the container and packaging supply chain, including materials companies engaged in the likes of chemicals and paper; molding and processing companies; container and packaging customers such as food, drink and daily necessity companies; and retailers.
Declaring that it intends for Japan to recycle 100 percent of its plastic products by 2050, CLOMA has set specific targets to achieve by 2030 through five key actions. The alliance is currently working on demonstration testing for chemical recycling at industrial facilities. And it is also seeing a level of success for efforts encouraging cooperation between companies, with results here including the development and commercialization of new materials.
CLOMA has also started to more broadly encourage collaboration between competitors as a way of tackling major environmental issues. Kao Corp. (TYO:4452) and Lion Corp. (TYO:4912), for example, are now working together on the recycling of film-based refill packs, aiming here by 2025 to implement in society a recycling system that takes such packs and turns them back into new products. This initiative could become a good example of how a recycling system can let companies set up their own routes for waste recovery.
There is also significant benefit to companies having a shared design for recycled materials. Most film-based refill packs currently in use have a multilayer design; however, the introduction of monomaterial packaging is seen as representing more sustainable, renewable designs.
Further, a number of converter companies that create packaging materials are saying that, if society is to improve its recycling rate, each industry will need to decide on a more uniform approach – potentially making it necessary to have unified standards for containers and packaging. The efforts of Kao and Lion on this front are as such attracting considerable attention.
|Five Key Actions and Goals of CLOMA’s Action Plan|
|Key Action #1
Minimizing plastic use
|Minimizing the use of unnecessary plastics, especially those derived from petroleum||・Reduce the amount of petroleum-derived virgin plastic that goes out for use in containers and packaging by 25 percent by 2030
・Introduce standardized designs and roll them out across Asia
|Key Action #2
Increasing the rate of material recycling
|Improving the recycling rate and pursuing a circular economy||PET
・Recover 100 percent by 2030, and maximize recycling of this recovered PET to make for 100 percent reuse
・Recycle 60 percent by 2030
・Have no plastic waste going to landfill or simple incineration
|Key Action #3
Developing and popularizing technologies for chemical recycling
|Working to develop and implement chemical recycling methods to use in cases where material recycling is difficult||・Implement an optimal mix of recycling methods that makes the most of chemical recycling
・Combine with material recycling to maximize overall recycling volume
|Key Action #4
Developing and utilizing biodegradable plastics
|Using biodegradable plastics in suitable applications to help reduce the impact of plastics emitted into nature||・Play a part in introducing approximately 2 million tons of biomass plastics by 2030|
|Key Action #5
Developing and utilizing paper/cellulose materials
|Putting paper and cellulose to use as alternatives to plastic and looking to prevent one-way plastic emissions||・Grow the market scale of these materials as alternatives to plastic
100,000 tons per year by 2030
1 million tons per year by 2050
Enhancing separation and recovery systems
|Proposing and implementing separation and recovery systems to help plastic resource circulation go smoothly||・Tie together Key Actions 1–5 and improving their outcomes and efficiency|
Part 5 in this series coming soon.