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  5. Towards a Sustainable Society: Environmental Cleanup Projects Aiming for Zero Refuse in the Oceans

1JUN 2019

VOL.110

  • Japan

Towards a Sustainable Society: Environmental Cleanup Projects Aiming for Zero Refuse in the Oceans

In June 2019, Japan hosted its first G20 summit in Osaka, with a focus on the international issue of plastic waste pollution in the oceans. There, the "Osaka Blue Ocean Vision" plan was agreed upon, which aims to reduce ocean waste to zero by 2050.

In the run-up to the summit, Japan's Ministry of the Environment and the Nippon Foundation began a nationwide cleanup campaign named "Zero Ocean Refuse Week" which ran from May 30 to June 8, and in which Otsuka group employees played an active role.

Cleanup activities at Naruto, Tokushima Prefecture, Japan on 8 June

The Otsuka Pharmaceutical Environmental Club, a volunteer group of Otsuka employees, collaborated with the local council to carry out cleaning activities at Naruto, Tokushima Prefecture, the location where the Otsuka company was founded. Around 150 people gathered, including employees from 15 group companies and family members, far exceeding the number that participated in previous years. Together they collected 300 bags of garbage, weighing a total of approximately 1.5 tons.

Cleanup on 1 June

Materials and posters relating to the problem of the circulation of discarded plastic waste were displayed at the venue to turn it into a hub for learning about the environment. One employee commented, "I usually only pay attention to large refuse, but if you look carefully there is a lot of small plastic waste reaching the ocean too. My awareness of ocean plastic has changed a lot." A ten-year-old child of an Otsuka employee said, "There were so many types of rubbish on the beach, and it felt great to help make it clean again!" A teenage participant commented, "There's not so much I can do by myself, but I want to do my best to help, so I hope I can participate in an event like this again."

Additionally, many employees participated in the coastal cleanup event held by the Japan Soft Drink Association, of which Otsuka Pharmaceutical is a partner. Approximately 130 people from soft drink manufacturing companies, including executives from their headquarters took part.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical will continue to work on integrating environmental management into its business practices in order to help realize a sustainable future for all.

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