Current Disposal Status of Single-use Products from Households in Japan

Yano, J.; Tomida, Y.; Nishimura, K.; Asari, M.; Sakai, S. (2020) The 6th 3R International Conference on Material Cycles and Waste Management, pp. B-2-4

Single-use products, including single-use plastics, have become an issue of global concern. In this study, we investigated single-use products in household waste through a household waste composition survey in Kyoto in 2018. Three categories of source separated household waste were investigated: 1) combustible waste, 2) plastic containers and packaging, and 3) cans, bins, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. In the absence of a universally accepted strict definition, the single-use products in this study were defined as products with lifespans of less than 1 month. A total of 127 products were identified. The top two products, i.e., plastic shopping bags, and beverage bottles (except PET bottles), accounted for 40% of the total single-use products in household waste on a weight basis. Additionally, the number of products generated is considered an important factor affecting littering behavior. Although bottle caps and plastic straws are light products, they were disposed in significant quantities from households. On a number basis, other single-use products, such as cigarette residue, were identified. It was confirmed that the single-use products investigated in coastal cleanup projects were actually disposed from households.


single-use products; single-use plastics; shopping bags; waste composition survey