The framework for waste regulation in Japan consists of the “Basic Act on Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society”, which sets forth the basic principles and concepts for the formation of a sound material-cycle society, and individual acts that embody these principles and concepts, under the Basic Environment Act, which defines the foundation of environmental policy.

The “Basic Act for Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society” aims to create a “society in which the consumption of natural resources will be conserved, and the environment load will be reduced to the greatest extent possible” through the following processes.

  1. Reduction of waste generation
  2. 3Rs of circulating resources
  3. Proper disposal of waste that does not fall under the 3Rs

Furthermore, under the same act, the “Waste Disposal and Public Cleansing Act” which aims to conserve the living environment and improve public health through the control and proper treatment of waste, and the “Act Concerning the Promotion of Effective Utilization of Resources” which aims to ensure the effective utilization of resources, to control waste generation, and conserve the environment, have been enacted.

In addition to the above two acts, the following six acts have been enacted to provide more specific regulations according to the characteristics of individual items.

  • Act on the Promotion of Sorted Collection and Recycling of Containers and Packaging
  • Act on Recycling of Specified Kinds of Home Appliances
  • Act on Promotion of Recycling and Related Activities for Treatment of Cyclical Food Resources
  • Construction Material Recycling Act
  • Act on Recycling, etc. of End-of-Life Vehicles
  • Act on Promotion of Recycling of Small Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment