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Thursday, Oct. 13, 2005

Don't make firms pay to separate trash, lobby says


Staff writer

Businesses should not be forced to share the costs to collect and sort packaging for recycling, according to the nation's most powerful business lobby.

The Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) released a report Tuesday on recycling containers and packages of retail products.

It is a counterproposal to interim reports to revise the Law for the Promotion of Sorted Collection and Recycling of Containers and Packages, compiled by panels from the Environment Ministry and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in July.

The two panels, which are trying to improve the current recycling system, have proposed that the industrial sector shoulder some of the costs to collect recyclable packaging from the public. Currently, municipalities must bear these costs.

The additional money from firms would assist local governments with small budgets in improving their collection and separation programs, and if companies have to pay, they would be encouraged to develop containers that are easier for the public to prepare for collection, according to the report by the Environment Ministry panel.

But Nippon Keidanren is strongly opposed to the proposal, saying the increased financial burden on firms would damage corporate activities and noted businesses have already taken sufficient steps to make containers that can easily be prepared for collection.

Yasutsugu Ogura, chairman of the Working Group on Waste Management and Recycling that compiled the report, said if industry bears some of the costs, it would discourage municipalities from trying to reduce their recycling costs.

Before the state imposes the financial burden on businesses, municipalities should teach consumers to sort their waste in a more thorough manner and thus reduce their costs to separate garbage, Nippon Keidanren said, adding local governments should refuse to pick up waste unless it is sorted and cleaned.



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