Japanese firms turn to digital visualization to spur cuts in plastic waste

Japanese companies are turning to digital visualization of recycling information to nudge people to reduce plastic waste.

Textile manufacturer Teijin teamed up with other entities to create a mechanism to collect unusable fishing nets from ports to be recycled into serving trays and other items.

The trays carry QR codes. When scanned by smartphones, they show which ports the recycled nets came from and the ratio of materials comprising the products.

A Teijin official says he hopes the system will raise people's awareness of recycling.

Chemical firm Asahi Kasei partnered with other companies to invent a system that people can use to track the process of recycling after they discard plastic bottles into designated collection boxes.

Users can follow the process through their smartphone app until the bottles are reproduced as plastic pellets.

They can also see a digital character in the shape of a tree stump grow in the app.

The character is meant to let consumers feel how much they have contributed to environmental protection. The companies are aiming to put the app into practical use in several years.

The government is seeking to achieve the goal of wasting no plastics by 2035 through reuse, recycling and other methods.