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Mottainai: The Sustainable Packaging Culture in Japan

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Mottanai has no real equivalent in English. An old Japanese word from Zen Bhuddism meaning “wastefulness or disrespect for nature’, the Japanese government and environmental movement have co-opted it as a powerful slogan for Sustainability. The Japanese government views the global promotion of Mottanai as a mission towards achieving environmental sustainability worldwide.

This report focuses on the issues of Packaging Sustainability as part of the wider socio-political movement, known by various names: 3R movement, Sound Material-Cycle Society or Circular Economy.

Regulatory Framework

Set against a background of Global Warming, Climate Change and mounting Solid Waste disposal problems, in 1995 Japan enacted a series of laws to regulate and combat the issues in compliance with a series of international treaties: Rio, Agenda 21, Kyoto, Bali.

Based on the practical application of Mottainai these laws are designed to operate together, dovetailing to promote and incorporate 3-R (Reduce Reuse & Recycle) in to a new economic theory where “the waste from one process becomes the feedstock of another” while also reducing costs.

{tab=What will I Learn?} Understand the Context: ALL end of life products (building materials, cars, computers, mobile phones, electrical appliances, food and packaging) have their own recovery and recycling laws. sustainjapan_page_036.jpg

- This report sets the context for the packaging industry.

Learn the Packaging Legislation: Based on direct Extended Producer Responsibility, Japan’s Packaging laws set obligations for all supply chain stakeholders: Brand Owner, Manufacturer, Product Importer, Retailer, Local Authority and Consumer. By law, each has a clearly defined role.

- This Report explains the duties and obligations of the stakeholders - AND includes a calculator for Recycling Fees paid by producers.

Design for Environment (DfE): Japan’s unique ‘front-of-pipe’ sollutions to solid waste management (MSW) require all packaging materials and designs to be easy to identify, seperate and compact to enable the consumer to remove lables, caps & closures, and disopse of them in one of 12 individual waste streams.

- This report details the Guidelines and Standards required - AND includes a flow-chart showing how you can incorporate DfE into your design process.

Industry Compliance Initiatives: To produce or import for Japan’s market packaged products must be in compliance with both the laws and 'off-legislation' volunatary industry agreements.

- This report details both the Legislation and these Voluntary Agreements

Regional & Global Implications: Since 2001 the Japanese governmentt has successfully  influenced; China, S Korea, VietNam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia to adapt and introduce some elements from the 3-R laws into thier legislation.

- This report analyses the impact of an East Asian Sound Material Cycle 3-R block on importers and producers from other regions.

{tab=Why Should I Buy this Report?}  If you do business in or with Japan this report is invaluable:sustainjapan_page_059.jpg
• Be informed of the compliance issues
• Understand your partners’ decision making process.
• Inform your business & branding decisions
• Understand the competitive environment and the pressures on the market’s major players
• Pinpoint growth sectors and trends and identify factors driving change
• Spot future trends in package development
• Incorporate appropriate concepts into your planning and sourcing process
• Identify sustainable strategies for the Asia region
• Anticipate future legislation in your own market and contextualise it
•  Understand the global sustainability context








{tab=Who Should I Buy this Report?} • Compliance Managers/Directorssustainjapan_page_062.jpg
• Legal Officers
• Sustainability Managers/Directors
• Business Development Directors
• Marketing Directors
• Packaging and Brand Strategists
• Brand Managers
• Packaging Designers
• Packaging Buyers
• Environmental Engineers
• Solid Waste Management Professionals
• Government Environment Officials








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