Chemical recycling mission to Japan
Ardi Dortmans and Marijn Goes of the Holland Chemistry Office joined the Ministry of Economic affairs and Climate policy on a fact-finding mission to Japan on chemical recycling. The mission focused mainly on the recycling of plastics and construction/demolition waste. As Holland Chemistry is advocating for a circular economy by 2050 it is championing the cross Topsectoral Knowledge& innovations agenda’s ’20-’24 for this transition. The fact finding in Japan focussed on a number of questions: What are the enabling policies, and what are drivers for innovation, for example on chemical and mechanical recycling? What is the state of the art, and what would be opportunities for public-private cooperation between Japan and the Netherlands on these topics?
The delegation met with multiple ministries (”EZK”, “IenW” equivalents), the Tokyo metropolitan government, large chemical firms, university scientists and the Japanese counterparts of TNO (AIST), NWO (JST), JCIA (VNCI), NEDO (RVO). We learned that in many ways Japan faces comparable recycling challenges as the Netherlands and has very similar waste stream compositions, process technologies, resource challenges and targets towards circularity in feedstocks. Also in Japan up to this moment the business case for chemical recycling has not yet been positive, as there is no strong incentive related to reduction of fossil-based carbon. Interesting leads were identified between AIST and TNO on LCA development e.g. and for fundamental knowledge built-up on chemical recycling through PhD research. Also via the chemical companies like Mitsubishi, Sekisui and Mitsui, which have operations and/or affiliates in the Netherlands predominantly in the ARRA region, international co-operation via public-private schemes can be further explored.
The good relation with colleagues at our embassy in Tokyo, who put great effort in excellent preparation of the mission, has been continued and intensified and will be pursued in the future.