Bottled up by plastics

Published: Tuesday 29 February 2000

the disposal of plastics is proving a tough task for the city of Kawasaki in Japan. And the pile of crushed plastic bottles gets bigger every day at a municipal waste disposal facility near a road leading to the Tokyo Bay Aqualine expressway.

Last February, the city began to separate used plastic bottles from other waste and contracted with a waste disposal company in Kanagawa Prefecture to recycle them. However, the number of plastic bottles collected in fiscal 1999 is expected to exceed more than twice the initial estimate.

The waste disposal company has refused to accept more bottles because it cannot keep pace with the rapidly increasing number of bottles. Therefore, the municipal facility has no choice but to store the 200 tonnes of plastic bottles, at least temporarily.

About one-third of the nation's municipal governments separate used plastic bottles from other waste.

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