Data Entry: November 2011
Second National Basic Plan for Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society
1. Progress in Formulating the Second Basic Plan for Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society
The First Basic Plan for Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society was laid down in 2003 in accordance with Article 15 of the Basic Act on Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society to implement measures for establishing a sound material-cycle society in a comprehensive and systematic manner.
Since the Act requires the basic plan to be reviewed five years after formulation, the Central Environment Council began deliberations for a review in July 2007.
- February 25, 2008: Draft approved by Sound Material-Cycle Society Committee, Central Environment Council
- February 26, 2008: public comments (to March 10, 2008)
On March 25, 2008, based on the aforementioned deliberation, the national government approved the Second Basic Plan for Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society in a Cabinet meeting and reported it to the Diet.
◊ Key Points of Second Basic Plan for Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society
Environmental protection today has become an extremely important issue fundamentally affecting human existence. In light of this problem, the following enhancements should be newly made to help create a sound material-cycle society.
 Create a sound material-cycle society on the premise of environmental protection.
 Make an integrated effort to create a sound material-cycle, low-carbon and eco-friendly society.
 Construct a local recycling zone that contributes to local community revitalization.
 In addition to enhancing numerical targets, introduce auxiliary and monitoring indicators.
 Pursue the 3R approach to ensuring collaboration among stakeholders.
 Improve the levels of 3R techniques and systems.
 Ensure Japan's leading role in internationally creating a sound material-cycle society.
2. Outline of Second Basic Plan for Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society
[Chapter 1: Present Conditions and Challenges]
- The stakeholders made efforts according to the first plan. Certain results
have been achieved for establishing a sound material-cycle society. Material
productivity has improved, the usage rate of recycled goods has increased,
and the amount of final disposal has decreased.
- It has become increasingly urgent to address global resource constraints, global warming and other issues.
- Therefore, it is necessary to make further efforts domestically and internationally to create a sound material-cycle society.
[Chapter 2: Mid- to Long-Term Vision for Sound Material-Cycle Society-Up to around 2025]
- Create a sustainable society in line with approaches toward a low-carbon society and eco-friendly society.
- Move to a stock-oriented society by popularizing durable high-quality houses.
- Form multi-layered local recycling zones by ensuring the optimum scale of recycling suitable for the local characteristics and properties of recyclable resources. An example is the recycling of locally produced and consumed food by making optimum use of recyclable biomass resources.
- Establish a lifestyle in line with the philosophy of mottainai. Make it common for people to repair goods, use them for an extended period of time, and enjoy the benefits of satoyama.
- Other examples include facilitating efforts by ensuring collaboration among stakeholders, establishment of 3R activities in manufacturing and other economic activities, and sophistication of 3R and waste treatment systems.
[Chapter 3: Indicators and Numerical Targets (Target Year: FY 2015)]
- Sets out enhanced numerical targets for material flow indicators:  Material productivity,  Usage rate of recycled goods, and  Amount of final disposal, designed to keep track of progress toward a sound material-cycle society.
- Adopts additional monitoring indicators such as an indicator relating to collaborative efforts toward a low-carbon society (a goal regarding measures to reduce waste generation) and hidden flow/TMR.
- Newly sets targets such as a 20% reduction in per capita/day waste from households and other numerical targets as well as monitoring indicators such as the percentage of shoppers with their own shopping bags and percentage of local governments charging for refuse collection.
[Chapter 4: Cooperation among Stakeholders and Their Expected Roles]
- It is important for stakeholders including citizens, NPOs, NGOs, universities, businesses and local governments to mutually cooperate and play their respective roles for achieving given targets.
- Expected Roles
- Citizens are expected to make changes in their lifestyle by, for example, carrying their own chopsticks and shopping bags.
- NPOs, NGOs and universities need to serve as mediators to build cooperation, deepen their expert knowledge and disseminate accurate information.
- Businesses should make thorough 3R efforts, implement advanced waste treatment, and collaborate among industries.
- Local governments are expected to be local centers for promoting efforts toward a sound material-cycle society, facilitating cooperation among stakeholders.
[Chapter 5: National Government's Initiatives]
◊ Indicators and Numerical Targets Set Out in Second Basic Plan for Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society
- One principle is to ensure proper material cycles, both in nature and in, as part thereof, social and economic systems. Examples are: natural environment protection, healthy water cycle from the perspective of environmental protection, and proper promotion of agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
- The national government shall, in partnership with each stakeholder, implement measures in an integrated manner with those taken toward a low-carbon society and eco-friendly society, form local recycling zones on the premise of protecting the living environment, and promote 3R-related national campaigns.
- The national government shall also promote recycling society-oriented businesses, improve the levels of 3R technologies and systems, collect information for assessing/checking progress in the implementation of measures, and develop human resources.
- Furthermore, the national government shall implement measures, such as forming a recycling zone in East Asia for creating an international sound material-cycle society to make international contributions.
[Material Flow Indicators]
(1) Numerical targets
Input: resource productivity → approx. 420,000 yen/t (approx. 60% increase from 2000)
Cycle: usage rate of recycled goods → approx. 14% to 15% (approx. 40% to 50% increase from 2000)
Output: amount of final disposal → approx. 23 million t (approx. 60% decrease from 2000)
(2) Introduction of auxiliary indicators such as an indicator of cooperation with efforts toward a low-carbon society
(3) Hidden flow/TMR, an indicator used to raise awareness of global environmental issues, and other indicators are introduced to monitor progress.
(1) Numerical targets
 Reduction of municipal solid waste
(2) Percentage of customers not taking shopping bags, high-ranking municipalities in terms of 3R efforts, and other indicators have been introduced to monitor progress made by individual stakeholders.
(a) Per capita/day waste generation
 Amount of final disposal of industrial waste
(b) Per capita/day waste from households
(c) Waste from businesses
 Citizens' awareness of and behavior concerning 3R
→Awareness: approx. 90%, Behavior: approx. 50%
 Promotion of recycling society-oriented businesses
→Market size has doubled (from FY 2000).
Maintained by Global Environment Centre Foundation (GEC)