The Japanese government has recently expressed their plans to help their Southeast Asian neighbors manage their trash pollution problem by turning them into energy.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, Japan’s government is forming a “public-private partnerships to boost exports of the plants to the region.” These partners, which includes Osaka city office, other municipalities, Hitachi Zosen, and JFE Engineering, will provide buyers with waste-reduction solutions, collection, separation, and recycling.
Japan set aside a 2 billion Japanese yen ($18.4 million) from its fiscal 2019 budget to help support field surveys and other pre-bid activities and to “subsidize half of all initial expenses through the Joint Credibility Mechanism,” as said in the report.
This mechanism will help promote cooperation between Japan and the recipient country to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and share the emissions-offset credits.
The Southeast Asian countries that Japan plans to help are Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines, which all have their own specific trash-related problems.
Vietnam, as mentioned in the report, is having a serious groundwater contamination problem due to trash, while Indonesia’s plastic waste and toxins are spilling into the ocean. As for the Philippines, it was stated there that the country is suffering from “fires, foul odors and other social problems as trash piles up because of a lack of landfill sites.”
To tackle these problems, Japan’s waste-to-energy project will open up a plant in Vietnam that will help prevent groundwater contamination. Indonesia, on the other hand, will open a plant that prevents waste from spilling into the ocean, and the Philippines’ will receive a plant that is designed to prevent air pollution caused by trash.
This program will also help Japan deepen its relationship with other countries by providing them with technologies that are easy on the environment.
Although the high cost of making and maintaining this technology has prevented it from spreading through other countries, mainly in Southeast Asia, this partnership will certainly help boost and pave the road for it to be tested in regions with plans to establish the project in 10 communities in SEA by 2023.
Japan plans to announce this project at the G20 summit that is set to be held in Osaka by the end of June. One of the main themes are “environment and energy,” which will focus on ways on how to combat rising environmental concerns like ocean waste, Vice reported.
The country has been using its waste-to-energy tech since its economy started to boom in 1960s. Japan already has 380 waste-to-energy plants across the country.