The “2020 Beach Beautification Initiative,” a project that seeks to address the growing problem of beach trash prior to the 2020 Olympics, when tens of thousands of tourist will descend upon Japan and either bear witness to beaches overflowing with trash or the true beauty and majesty of Japan.The three tenants of the “2020 Beach Beautification Initiative” focus on dumping, empowering community groups through a program called “Adopot-A-Beach” and encouraging manufacturers/producers to take responsibility for the full life cycle of their products (Cradle to Cradle).
The first initiative addresses dumping. Although Japan strives to be at the forefront of innovative recycling technologies, it still suffers from various cases of illegal dumping on a fairly large scale. Evidence of this has been documented in cases which include various mountainside locations displaying a large amount of post consumer trash. Extreme cases have even been documented which includes cars that have been abandoned on rocky beaches. This problem, at its core, stems from an apathy about the effects of such actions. The solution is to host community awareness and education campaigns focusing on both the cleanup of these locations and also the potential effects on areas including, but not limited to, the tourism market.
The second initiative focuses on harnessing community support on a smaller scale through the proliferation of a program titled “Adopt-A-Beach.” This initiative seeks to remedy the problem of beach trash by urging the creation of smaller cleaning groups that will take responsibility for a beach. These community groups will literally “Adopt” the beach and with the help of local government, host small cleanups various times throughout the year that will stem the problem of trash accumulation.
The last initiative focuses on the manufactures/producers of the products we find on the beaches. This program which it titled “Cradle to Cradle” encourages responsibility for the full Life cycle of the product. Currently, many manufacturers and or producers have a belief that once a product is purchased by the consumer, the responsibility, for the most part, is relinquished. Life Recycled posits that it is in fact the opposite, the makers of these products are equally if not more responsible for this type of beach trash being that it originated in their factories through a manufacturing process specific to that company. It is our hope that as a result of this initiate being embraced, those who make these products will actively seek out and support various cleaning initiatives and go so far as to organize coastal cleanups extending throughout the year.
It is with these initiatives that Life Recycled hopes to encourage a paradigm shift in regards to how we care for our beaches and address the ever increasing problems related to trash that is found on Japan’s sandy coasts. In the coming months Life Recycled will be working diligently with local communities and both city and state governments to seek a solution to this ever growing problem.