As endorsers of the Business Coalition’s Vision Statement, leading businesses in Japan support a UN treaty on plastic pollution with legally-binding global rules and measures to drive change on a global scale - through harmonised regulations on reduction, circulation, and prevention alongside remediation.

Key positions

Ambitious goals and aspirations to end plastic pollution in a treaty have no value on their own. The treaty must establish the concrete policy instruments and measures that help us get there. In this way, we have a rare and real opportunity to make a positive change to our world by reassessing how we make, use, and think about plastic.

The draft of the legal text must lay out the foundations of the treaty with clear options for core obligations and policy measures to be implemented by national governments.

About our ambition in the treaty

REDUCTION of plastic production and use through a circular economy approach

  • Reduction is critical because recycling alone is not a viable solution to this crisis. We must reduce our use of all virgin plastics – with a particular focus on those produced from fossil fuels – if we are to play our part in seeking to stay within the 1.5 degree climate pathway.
  • We must prioritise identifying and eliminating plastic applications with a high probability of leaking into the environment and reduce our demand for short-lived products that cannot be circulated in practice and at scale.
  • We must ensure chemicals and pollutants that pose a significant risk to human health and nature are no longer put on the market.

CIRCULATION of all plastic items that cannot be eliminated

  • Establishing and enforcing globally harmonised standards is key to ensuring all plastics are safe to be used, reused, and recycled.
  • Mandatory design for recycling requirements must be coupled with targets for scaling of systems and infrastructure to keep plastics in circulation for longer at their highest value, and so reducing leakage into the environment.
  • Establishing Extended Producer Responsibility policies that require all industry players who introduce packaging and other short-lived products to the market to fund and manage their after-use collection and treatment is a crucial tool to help us tackle plastic pollution.
  • Informal waste workers play an important role in collecting, sorting, and recycling plastic waste. The treaty must protect and respect their livelihoods, their health, and their human rights as it enables a safe and just transition to a circular economy.

PREVENTION and REMEDIATION of remaining plastic leakage

  • Robust waste management practices are required. Effective regulatory and financial incentives are needed to promote the uptake of circular economy solutions at the local level.
  • We should not ignore existing plastic pollution – we need tools to tackle the micro and macro plastics that are already polluting our environment.

Additional considerations

Furthermore, the treaty should pay attention to critical cross-cutting issues: Economic Instruments and Financial Incentives, as well as Monitoring and Reporting.

Building on the example of the Paris Climate Agreement, the treaty must require making both public and private financial flows consistent with a pathway towards ending plastic pollution and promoting the safe circulation of plastics.

The treaty must establish clear steps to create an effective monitoring and reporting system for governments to track progress towards national and global objectives. To support this, the treaty should also outline the principles for how corporate information on risks, opportunities, and impacts related to plastic pollution should be considered.

The treaty should require plastic-related disclosures by large and/or transnational companies and financial institutions and ensure that corporate reporting takes place in a harmonised and coherent way.

About the Coalition

The Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty – convened by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and WWF – gives voice to more than 150 business across the plastics value chain, financial institutions and NGO partners. Together they are asking for an ambitious UN treaty that brings plastics into a circular economy and stops them becoming waste or pollution. There is shared ambition. Now we need shared action in the areas outlined above.

Japan Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty

Uber Eats Japan Co., Ltd.
ecorica Inc.
Kirin Holdings Company, Limited.
Saraya Co.,Ltd.
TerraCycle Japan GK
Coca‑Cola(Japan)Company, Limited. 
Nestlé Japan Ltd.
Unicharm Corporation
Unilever Japan Holdings

Misawa Yukihiro, Circular Economy Manger, WWF Japan