Garbage increased in corona 20:17 on September 8th

I think that many people are tired of getting a lot of plastic trash because of the influence of the new coronavirus, which makes them refrain from eating out and ask for delivery, and the number of occasions when they cook at home increases more than usual.

There is also concern about the increase in plastic waste in the new lifestyle and the impact on local government finances.

(Keio Nakazawa, Director of Social Program, Naoya Kiri, Director of Social Program Department)

Plastic garbage that increases with corona damage

Marine pollution due to plastic waste has been highlighted as a global issue, and measures have been spreading in Japan, such as charging plastic bags from July.

On the other hand, when I interviewed the major local governments nationwide, the amount of plastic waste from homes during the four months until July was increasing sharply compared to the previous year.

The background is the new coronavirus.

It is thought that plastic garbage such as bento boxes, side dishes containers, and meat and fish trays has increased due to the influence of "nesting", which requires delivery and takeaway before eating out, and cooking at home.

When I talk to a woman in her 50s who says she keeps a lifestyle where she doesn't use plastic as much as possible, such as carrying around my bag.

There are more and more opportunities to use online shopping and food delivery, and one day the plastic waste of four family members can fill up a garbage bag of 35 liters.

He also said that he felt that it was burdensome to wash plastic containers in order to have them collected.

Due to the rapid increase in plastic waste, garbage disposal facilities are also being rushed to respond.

At the treatment facility in Nagoya city, from around March when infection with the new coronavirus spread, the amount of plastic waste that had been flat until now has increased unprecedentedly, and we have been forced to extend the operation time. It was

"Need option not to buy plastic"

According to UNEP = United Nations Environment Program, Japan has the second highest plastic waste per capita after the United States.

It is not uncommon for Japanese products to be pointed out to have excessive packaging.

Associate professor Sadao Harada of Osaka University of Commerce, who is familiar with the problem of plastic waste, argues that we should consider ways to reduce the amount of plastic waste as well as avoid it being used by consumers.

Associate professor Harada

“Consumers are buying the product, not the containers and packaging originally. We have the option of using plastic or not using plastic. I think it's very important to go.''

Accelerating products to be plastic-free

Efforts to reduce plastic packaging have also begun among companies.

Nestlé, a major food manufacturer, switched from chocolate candy bags to paper in September last year.

Major beverage manufacturers have begun efforts to sell PET bottled beverages online without labeling.

Why not label?

This is to reduce the amount of label plastic.

In addition, the major confectionery manufacturer “Fujiya” in Tokyo has switched from plastic packaging of its main product, which has been made of plastic for over 50 years, to paper packaging since August.

It is said that the strength and "imperviousness" of air and moisture are not so different from those made of plastic.

Although the cost will increase, we would like to win more customers by considering the environment.

Akari Aoki, Fujiya Product Planning Department

"I think that it is our responsibility as a company to properly handle plastics while society is moving to reduce plastic waste."

Is the garbage problem a financial problem?

Some municipalities have begun reducing plastic containers throughout the town.

That is Maniwa City, Okayama Prefecture.

When I visited a tonkatsu shop in the city, the words "Begin eco-takeout" were found.

When you bring a container to the store, it will be filled with freshly fried cutlet.

There are 25 restaurants in the city that accept such brought-in containers and bottles.

This is an initiative being promoted by the Maniwa City Environment Division.

In addition, we have begun efforts to provide resin containers used in city facilities to restaurants as take-out containers free of charge.

At the tofu shop, freshly fried deep-fried tofu was placed in a container provided by the city and was also sold in an eco bag distributed by the city free of charge.

Since restaurants do not charge a container fee, at this store, customers who chose to bring in their own containers or choose take-out in city containers were sold at a 3% discount.

With the impact of the new coronavirus increasing the number of takeouts, we started this May with the aim of reducing plastic waste as much as possible.

Ask the person in charge of the city about the background.

Mr. Hiroshi Fujita, Counselor, Maniwa City Environment Section

"I consider not only global environmental problems but also major financial problems for local governments."

According to Counselor Fujita, while tax revenues continue to decline due to a declining population, the cost of waste disposal in Maniwa City is about 700 million yen each year, almost flat.

One 45-liter garbage bag is sold for 50 yen, but the actual cost to dispose of 1 bag of garbage is 10 times that, 500 yen.

The increase in plastic trash at Corona can threaten local governments' finances.

This is not just a problem of Maniwa City.

According to the Ministry of the Environment's summary, the cost of waste disposal business per person is increasing, and in FY2018 it is 16,400 yen per year.

The situation varies depending on the local government, but as local finances are tightened due to population decline and other factors, an increase in garbage can further worsen the public finances.

Let's reduce garbage

I think there is a certain part that plastic garbage will increase due to increased hygiene and convenience due to increased delivery and takeout due to coronary bruise.

When I visited a restaurant in Tokyo, some customers refused because of concerns about food poisoning, even if the customer brought in a container.

However, an increase in plastic waste will increase the burden on people's lives, increase administrative costs, and worsen the global environment.

As individuals and companies can do as little as possible, efforts to reduce garbage are likely to be important.

Kei Nakazawa,

Reporter, Ministry of Economics

Joined in 2011

Fukushima station, Fukuoka station,

now in charge of distribution and food industry etc.

Naoya Kuro,

Director of Social Program Department



Hiroshima station in

2015, currently in charge of "Good morning Japan"

NHK News Good morning Japan

The issue of plastic garbage, which is rapidly increasing in the corona, will be explained in detail at the 7 o'clock position of "Good morning Japan" broadcast on September 9.