Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity
Study of Marine Plastic Issues
Plastic, which is so much a part of our daily lives, has been gathering much attention in recent years as a material that is polluting our oceans. It is now recognized as a crucial issue that the world must address, and both businesses and countries are now rising to the challenge. For example, a growing number of restaurant and hotel chains are no longer offering plastic straws, and there are even countries that have decided to phase in a ban of disposable plastic wrapping materials and products.
It is not the intention of a responsible company to have products born from its business indirectly pollute the oceans and disrupt the marine ecosystem. On the other hand, when we consider the convenience of plastic and the fact that it is already used in numerous products and integrated in the business process, it is clear that this is not a straightforward issue that can be solved by simply banning the use of disposable plastics. We must study alternative materials including biomass plastic and recycled plastic, design products that will not be disposed of irresponsibly, and consider the efficient use of resources including the collection, recycling and reuse of used plastic, and how to maximize added value. After establishing the ideal form to take based on such studies, practical methods to shift to this approach must be considered and then implemented.
Against this backdrop, in 2018 JBIB launched the Working Group for Study of Marine Plastic Issues for member companies to work together and engage in this critical issue with the goal of establishing resource recycling strategies for the realization of a sustainable society.
The Marine Plastic Issues Working Group will first strive to grasp global trends for a circular economy, and after properly understanding business risks and opportunities, will study how companies should shift to a more resource efficient business model with a special focus on minimizing impacts on marine biodiversity.