ADVOCACY: Ending plastic waste
G20 Summit

ADVOCACY: Ending plastic waste

Three major Japanese chemical companies – Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Mitsui Chemicals and Sumitomo Chemical – have embarked on an ambitious yet crucial plan to end plastic waste

By Mina Kanda, GM, KAITEKI Promotion Office, Corporate Strategy Division, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation; Ken Migita, senior director, GM, Corporate Sustainability Division, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc; and Takanori Ito GM, Responsible Care Department Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.


The increase of environmental risks resulting from plastic waste is one of the greatest challenges facing our society and, while we have seen some action from individual nations, the private sector must now step up to the challenge.

To date, various organisations including NPOs and communities have been working on this issue in order to advance solutions to eliminate plastic waste in the environment. Their focus to date has fallen on education and awareness, clean-up, infrastructure development, and innovation. Companies active in Japan’s plastic value chain cannot be excluded from these efforts.

Leading by example, this year Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Mitsui Chemicals and Sumitomo Chemical harmonised and joined The Alliance to End Plastic Waste.

Collectively we are pursuing a common goal to solve the plastic waste issue and, as founding members, the three companies will lead the efforts of Japan – and all of Asia – on behalf of the chemical industry.

AEPW is a new CEO-led, cross-sector, not-for-profit organisation established in January of 2019, that today counts global companies from the plastics and consumer goods value chain worldwide as its members.

The participation of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Mitsui Chemicals and Sumitomo Chemical in AEPW will prompt not only chemical companies but all companies in the plastic value chain, to further accelerate their efforts to help end plastics waste, in cooperation with other companies that share the same objectives.


Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings conducts business with the vision of realising the sustainable well-being of people, society and our planet Earth. Here in Japan, we call it ‘KAITEKI’.

Mitsui Chemicals is pursuing a transformation of its business model to realise the principles of a cohesive society that is in harmony with the environment, and health and happiness in an aging society. Both of these actively incorporate the idea of sustainability.

Sumitomo Chemical embraces a business philosophy founded on its basic principles for promoting sustainability, in accordance with the concept that our business must benefit itself and society as one and the same. This credo constitutes the Sumitomo Spirit.

Together, we aim to encourage efforts to solve the plastic waste issue across the entire value chain of businesses, industries, governments and communities.

Today, as the issue nears a crisis point and draws attention from across the world, we believe that it is time for private and public sector forces across Asia and other continents, to join us in driving meaningful and lasting change.