Waste Management and Recycling in Japan Opportunities for European Companies (SMEs focus)

This report is primarily intended for EU Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that consider approaching the Japanese waste market and is meant to give them an overview of this sector as well as recommendations to take advantage of the business opportunities it offers. The Japanese waste market is a mature market but it is still in evolution due to environmental, economic, social and political circumstances, domestically and around the world. Resource scarcity and energy dependence call for a circular economy, further exploiting waste as a resource. The overall reduction of waste generation is also one of the main objective. When considering entering this market, companies should first understand the main concern (limited space) and conception (responsibilities’ sharing) that drove the Japanese approach to waste management. Biomass and R&D for strategic materials recovery from urban mines appear to be the most promising opportunities for EU SMEs in Japan. Regarding treatment facilities, few new constructions are to be expected in the near future but the many existing plants throughout the country are potential outlets for innovative machinery and technology as replacement parts. Same as for other sectors, finding a good partner is often the first and most important step to enter the market. As a natural result, the main expectation from companies towards support organization is to introduce them to relevant parties and help them build a network.

Additional material

A presentation based on this report and entitled “Waste Management and Recycling in Japan
Opportunities for EU SMEs" is also available to be donwloaded here.

Report written by Christine Yolin in the framework of the Minerva Fellowship Programme.

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