Japan is the world’s second-highest user per capita of plastic packaging, according to the United Nations Environment Program. It is also the host of this year’s G20 Summit, which began Friday June 28th.
Japan hopes at the meeting to showcase its efforts to deal with its plastic problem, symbolized by plans to make the 2020 Tokyo Olympic medals from recycled plastic. But experts say the country can’t recycle its way out of this mess. It has to cut down on the demand for plastic in the first place.
Japan is notorious for wrapping nearly everything in plastic. Vegetables and fruits, in particular, are often individually-wrapped in stores. Several stories have focused on the nation’s habit, given the ongoing summit.