Chinese Presence in Japan’s Waste Plastics Processing Industry

Chinese waste plastics recycling companies have established industry groups in Japan at the end of 2019. Unlike Japanese companies who are cautious about investing, Chinese companies have proposed a policy of adding factories. This move will help solve the problem of waste plastic stuck in Japan. On the other hand, it may also allow Chinese companies to take control of the processing of recyclable resources.

At the inauguration ceremony of the “Asian Plastic Resources Circulation Promotion Association“, President Ben Domin said with great force: “Now we are working together to lead the solution of Japan’s plastic waste problem.” The association is an industry group joined by about 30 Chinese plastic waste recycling companies. The purpose of establishment is to conduct business in Japan and share information.

The affiliated company, Yaxing Commercial, invested approximately 700 million yen in the construction of two new factories in 2018-2019. One of the factories plans to strengthen waste plastic crushing and cleaning equipment as early as 2020.

Far East Ishizuka Green PET also plans to add factories. Strive to increase the annual sales volume of recycled resin made from waste plastic bottles to 1.5 times the current level by 2030, reaching 300,000 tons.

The background of Chinese factories that have successively put into production in Japan is the problem of waste plastic retention in Japan. According to statistics from the Japan Plastics Recycling Association, among the waste plastics produced in Japan in 2017, 2.11 million tons were recycled as recycled raw materials. More than 40% of them are exported to China. However, after the Chinese government banned the import of waste plastics at the end of 2017, about 900,000 tons of waste plastics were stranded in Japan every year because they could not be exported.

The restrictions on the import of waste plastics have also expanded beyond China. After 2018, Thailand and Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries also announced restrictions on imports.

The increase in waste plastics has become an opportunity to expand revenue for recycling companies. However, domestic waste plastic recycling companies are cautious about large-scale investments such as new factories. For Japanese companies, even if they generate revenue in a short period of time, they cannot generate revenue in the long run against the background of a reduction in the amount of waste caused by the reduction in population.

On the other hand, Chinese companies are targeting the Southeast Asian market and plan to ensure profits by conducting business globally. According to Chairman Ben Domin, the number of Chinese companies entering Japan has doubled in the past two years.

Focusing on Europe and the United States, food and daily necessities manufacturers proposed to replace the production materials of commodity containers with recycled resins from waste plastics, and waste plastics began to become valuable resources. It is expected that the recycled materials of waste plastics will be exported from Japan to overseas through Chinese companies. The investment willingness of Japanese waste plastic recycling companies has attracted much attention.


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