Dow Heads First Quantitative Study to Reduce Plastic Waste in Japan

Tokyo, Japan - December 20, 2017 - Against the backdrop of changing climate realities and the rising consumption of plastic, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics (P&SP), a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, is supporting the launch of the first quantitative research in Asia Pacific to study the impact of plastic waste and debris on the Edogawa River and the Ohori River of the Kanto region in Japan. In 2016, Dow announced a commitment to spend $2.8 million over the next two years to drive solutions that address global marine debris and litter.The Edogawa and Ohori River Study is part of that commitment.

Together, with Tokyo University of Science (TUS) and the Japan Plastic Industry Federation (JPIF), the study titled “Assessment of River Waste Using Unmanned Monitoring Method” will examine the impact of waste management solutions surrounding the Edogawa River, as well as provide critical data on waste volumes passing through the river to help the communities and government improve existing systems.

“Plastics help extends the shelf-life of food which in turn reduces carbon footprints and improve energy efficiency. Plastics is also invaluable to developers of life-saving innovations in the medical field. We work actively with our value chain partners in Japan to correct the commonly held negative stereotype that plastics are polluting the environment due to waste management issues. Together, with industry trade associations and academia, we strive for solutions to create sustainable communities and economic development,” said Dr. Han Zhang, Asia Pacific Sustainability and Advocacy Leader for Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics.

According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), up to 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into the world’s oceans annually. While Japan has one of the world’s most progressive plastic recycling program, the country is also arguably the highest plastic consumer in Asia Pacific.

“Plastics offer many advancements that improve our daily lives. However, not all plastic waste ends up where it should be, and this is why we want to work with our value chain partners to develop best practices to mitigate issues such as marine debris,” said Bambang Candra, Asia Pacific Commercial Vice President for Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics. “At Dow, we are advocates for resource recovery technologies. This study reflects our commitment in finding viable science-based solutions to keep our ocean clean.”

Launched in July 2017, the study will involve the installation of autonomous video surveillance instruments along the river’s drainage pipelines to continually record the amount of debris flowing in the river over the course of the year, and to analyse the current waste management system. Piloted by Dow together with researchers from the Tokyo University of Science’s Department of Civil Engineering; Professor Yasuo Nihei and Assistant Professor Tomoya Kataoka, the study employs the Automatic Unmanned Continuous Observation Method (AUCOM).


For editorial information:

Juno Chen
Asia Pacific
+65 6417 3883
Jchen11@dow.com

Sieu Ping Low
The Hoffman Agency
+65 6361 0250
DowChemicalSG@hoffman.com