Japan’s shift from plastic ‘creates opportunities for the nation's declining paper industry’

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Japan’s shift from plastic ‘creates opportunities for the nation's declining paper industry’

June 03, 2019 - 17:40
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TOKYO, June 3, 2019 (Nikkei Asian Review) -As the digital age gives people fewer reasons to use paper, the material has nevertheless found itself in the global spotlight.

Earlier this month more than 180 countries agreed to tougher rules for shipping non-recyclable plastic waste across national borders. This means more countries like Japan, the world's second-biggest producer per capita of plastic waste after the U.S., will have to deal with their non-recyclables at home instead of shipping it to other countries.

It is a welcome shift for Japan's paper industry, which has faced steadily shrinking demand. According to the Japan Paper Association, domestic demand shrank to 14.69 million tons in 2017 from 16.59 million tons in 2011. Manufacturers are now coming up with new ways to supplant plastic products in everything from straws to shampoo containers.

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