Policy Proposals Environment and Energy Results of Fiscal 2013 Follow-up Survey of Voluntary Action Plan on the Environment -- Section on the Establishment of a Sound Material-Cycle Society --
1. Target for reducing the final disposal volume of industrial waste for industry as a whole
Keidanren has set a target for Japanese industry as a whole for "reducing the final disposal volume of industrial waste in fiscal 2015 by about 65% from fiscal 2000" to promote independent and proactive efforts by industry toward building a sound material-cycle society.
2. Results of efforts in fiscal 2012
The final disposal volume of industrial waste (32 industries) in fiscal 2012 was about 74.8% lower than the figure in fiscal 2000 (about a 92.2% reduction from the amount in fiscal 1990), exceeding the target level in this action plan.
3. Evaluation of efforts in fiscal 2012 and tasks ahead
(1) The exceeding of the target level in fiscal 2012 is thought to have been influenced by a decrease in production activities due to the sluggish economy, in addition to independent and proactive efforts to build a sound material-cycle society -- sorting out waste and other materials by categories, the commercialization of by-products through technological development, finding new uses for such secondary products, etc. Therefore, depending on factors such as future economic trends, the final disposal amount of industrial waste could increase.
(2) There are many industries that find it difficult to further reduce their waste under the environmental technologies available today and under the current legal system. Furthermore, while the cement industry has been accepting large amounts of waste material and by-products from other sectors for use in producing cement, the industry has not been able to accept increasing amounts of waste material and by-products because the overall production volume of cement has been at low levels in recent years due to factors such as a slump in investment in public works projects. Amid such a situation, industry will continue to make efforts to reduce the final disposal volume of industrial waste in the future and work even harder to promote the 3R's (reduce, reuse, recycle). To make further progress in building a sound material-cycle society, it is essential for the government to provide policy support and for the legal system to undergo operational improvements and reviews, in addition to the independent and proactive efforts by industry.