In Japan, the Containers/Packaging Recycling Act regulates the recycling system of plastic containers and packaging. However, plastic daily products are often incinerated or buried.
In this context, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment organized between this February and March a collection of plastic products at stores. It is a pilot project called PLA-PLUS project which promotes recycling by an efficient system of collection for plastic products. For the moment, six companies agreed to participate to this pilot project. One of them is a major toy manufacturer called Tomy Co. Between Februray 25th and March 8th, 2 of the stores collected unwanted toys at cash registers.
This is not the first time that stores in Japan are part of a project. The MUJI stores of the Osaka prefecture participated to the FUKU FUKU project in 2010 which consisted in collecting unwanted clothes during 2 weeks and recycle almost 100% of the material.
The collected clothing was degraded by natural enzymes and microorganisms to regenerate bio-ethanol from the cotton. Bio-ethanol is used as alternative to industrial ethanol and oil fuels. Other materials such as nylon and polyester were also recycled. The remaining materials were thermally decomposed and used as fuel.