Govt to push eco-friendly firms overseas / Companies with plastic technologies to get support | #AsiaNewsNetwork

In cooperation with the World Economic Forum (WEF), the international organization based in Switzerland that organizes an annual meeting in Davos, the ministry will transmit information related to such Japanese companies at international meetings and via its relations with multinational companies in countries in Europe and North America.

It is aimed at helping to create business opportunities for Japanese companies, with the ministry serving as a go-between and supporting them as they pursue technological innovation.

Multinational companies in Europe and the United States, such as German sportswear maker Adidas and Swedish clothing retailer H&M, have set goals of reducing their use of plastics by replacing plastic-based materials with recycled and eco-friendly ones. However, many of these firms have yet to come up with specific alternative materials and are still studying possible materials and production methods.

The government intends to globally promote Japanese companies that are trying to venture abroad with their plastic-related technologies. Envisaged technologies include those to design products that do not use any superfluous plastics, to develop plastics whose raw material is not petroleum, or to develop new methods for recycling plastic waste.

The government will begin selecting companies, such as beverage makers and household utensil manufacturers, as early as next month. In the future, the government plans to publicly invite applications from companies, with a goal of increasing the roster of such companies to about 100. Those selected companies will go ahead with their technological development, with advice from a governmental committee of experts.

These technologies will be publicized by the government at the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy, an environmental activity group under the umbrella of the WEF, in which take part about 60 organizations, including global firms such as Apple and Google, international institutions and governments.

The government is also considering introducing these technologies at the WEF’s “Sustainable Development Impact Summit,” at which private companies and governmental organizations gather in September every year.

“We want to encourage business models in which developing technologies that are easier on the environment is a key to success,” an Environment Ministry official said.

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