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Microplastics research in Japan 2020 (EN)

Microplastics research in Japan 2020 (EN)

2020 Microplastic Leakage Survey Report
Challenges and next steps to solving the problem
- About Pirika Inc. / Pirika Association
- Why microplastic leakage is a problem
- About the Albatross project
- The 2020 Microplastic Leakage Survey
- Next steps and challenges to solving the problem

Transcript

  1. 2020 Microplastic Leakage Survey Report Challenges and next steps to

    solving the problem Pirika Inc. / Pirika Association 1 25 March 2021
  2. Contents 2 - About Pirika Inc. / Pirika Association -

    Why microplastic leakage is a problem - About the Albatross project - The 2020 Microplastic Leakage Survey - Next steps and challenges to solving the problem
  3. About Pirika Inc. / Pirika Association Representative:Fuji Kojima Set sights

    on solving environmental issues after reading a book when aged 7. Majored in environmental engineering at Osaka Prefecture University and energy economics at Kyoto University Graduate School. Traveled around the world while still at graduate school and witnessed how human-created waste was spilling into nature. Started development of the Pirika litter picking social network app upon returning to Japan. Dropped out of Kyoto University in 2011 and established Pirika Inc.. Pirika is supported by a diverse team of more than 50 members including part-timers and interns 3 A non-profit organization / startup that aims to use science and technology to solve all kinds of environmental issues. For their first step, Pirika is focused on the issue of human-created waste (especially plastic) spilling into nature. ※Pirika = “Beautiful” in Ainu, a language spoken by the indigenous people of northern Japan Timeline: 2010 Begins as a student-led project at the University of Kyoto 2011 Members drop out of university, establish Pirika Inc. in Tokyo 2018 Wins Ministry of Environment Award (2018 Cleaning Award) Establishes non-profit organization 2019 Pirika’s efforts are picked up in the Ministry of the Environment’s Annual Report on the Environment 2019
  4. Why plastic leakage is an issue 4 Both the global

    population and volume of plastic used per person have increased → Exponential increase in plastic consumption and leakage Concerns over plastic leakage’s negative impact on ecosystems - Impact on marine life (suffocation, starvation, injury) - Impact on climate change (inhibits planktons from absorbing CO2) Predicting the impact of plastic leakage is difficult but there are concerns of serious and irreversible consequences and it is an issue that, as with global warming, warrants the application of the precautionary principle*. ※Precautionary principle:a system or concept that allows for regulatory measures even if there is a hypothetical danger to the new technology that has a significant and irreversible effect on the environment, even if the causal relationship is not sufficiently proved scientifically.
  5. Why microplastic leakage is a problem 5 Microplastics = plastics

    smaller than 5 mm - Microplastics are believed to be a greater risk to the human body when compared to larger plastics as they can easily be ingested through drink and food. - Plastic itself is harmless but may contain substances that are harmful to the human body.
  6. About the Albatross project ? A survey on the outflow

    mechanisms to stop the leakage of plastics Clarifying the causal items and leakage paths are essential to stopping the leakage. 6
  7. Conventional plastic leakage survey methods Conventional methods such as trawling

    are expensive and impossible in some locations. Boats cannot enter shallow or narrow rivers Boats are costly
  8. Development of microplastic collection devices A small survey device was

    developed, allowing surveys anywhere and at low cost. Albatross 1 Albatross 3 Albatross 7 Patent pending
  9. Expanding Albatross survey network Also used by the UN, now

    one of the world’s largest microplastic survey networks ※Surveys in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos were conducted as part of project CounterMEASURE under the UN environment programme
  10. Deducing the causal plastic product Each of the more than

    5,000 samples collected were analyzed. The causal plastic product was deduced in collaboration with the Tokyo Institute of Technology, the Tokyo University of Science and plastic molding companies.
  11. The Albatross project implementation in 2020 11 Implementing body Pirika

    Association Technical cooperation Pirika Inc. (development and provision of equipment and know-how) Financial support (grants, sponsorship, donations) The Nippon Foundation (The Ocean and Japan Project) The FP Corp. Environment Fund Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd. FANCL Corporation Advisers and partners Tokyo Institute of Technology, Prof. Gaku Fukuhara Guidance and supervision of analysis procedures Osumi Co., Ltd. Commissioned for analysis services Miyoshi Inc. Help in deduction of causal plastic product Tokyo University of Science, Prof. Yasuo Nihei Advised the leakage calculation process Yachiyo Engineering Co., Ltd. Provided water outflow data Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. Assisted in analysis of artificial turf
  12. Project flow for 2020 Project flow for 2019 Project flow

    (compared to previous year) 12 Collect candidate plastic particles Pre-treatment Analysis Deduction of product Consideration Select survey locations Build partnerships Calculation of leakage volume Development of solution businesses Measurement and calculation of mass
  13. 1. Building partnerships In partnership with 20 municipalities nation-wide and

    2 universities, survey in each area was continued even during the COVID-19 crisis. 13 Region Partner Hokkaido Hokkaido Prefecture Kanto Saitama Prefecture, Tama City, Fukaya City, Abiko City, Tateyama City, Minato Ward, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo City University Chubu Yamanashi Prefecture, Mie Prefecture, Shima City, Toyohashi City, Mishima City, Yokkaichi University Kansai Shiga Prefecture, Sakai City, Kameoka City, Kobe City (Rokko Island High School) Chugoku Okayama City Kyushu Fukuoka City (in collaboration with the towns of Umi and Shime), Kirishima City
  14. The survey locations were selected upon consultation with each of

    the partners and in consideration of various factors such as survey requests from local communities and safety. (Right:example of Minato Ward) In addition to conventional surface-level plastic collection, plastics were also collected from near the bottom of the water in some areas. (see below) 2. Selection of survey locations 14 Surface Bottom
  15. Candidate plastic particles were collected using the Albatross 7, a

    sampling device with a battery-powered propeller that passes surface-level water into a net. 3. Collection of candidate plastic particles 15 How the Albatross 7 sampling device works Uses a 0.3mm mesh plankton net Water filter meter to measure volume of passed water Battery-powered (Can be used at a flow rate of 0) Collects 1 to 5 m3 of water in 3 minutes Can be transported and stored in a single cardboard box
  16. 3. Collection of candidate plastic particles: images 16

  17. Chemicals used for gravitational separation Water surface sample: NaCl, 1.2

    g/cm3 Water bottom sample: NaI, 1.5 g/cm3 Chemicals and conditions for water purification 30 wt% H 2 O 2 +0.05 M Fe(II) (1:1), 50℃, 1h 4. Pre-treatment 17 Candidate plastic particles were separated from natural particles such as sand, plants and corpses using a solution for gravitational separation and an oxidizing agent for purification
  18. 5. Analysis 18 Parameters such as composition, color, size, thickness

    and shape of the candidate plastic particles were obtained using Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), microscopes and calipers.
  19. 6. Deduction of causal plastic product 19 With the help

    of Miyoshi Inc. and Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd., the procedure to determine the causal plastic product for the microplastics was developed and improved for use in this project. For instance, visually identical pieces of artificial turf were classified in 3 categories based on composition, shape and size, allowing for the source of the leakage to be identified. Injection-molded type (door mats, golf driving ranges, etc.) Extruded type – Long pile (football fields, etc.) Extruded type - Other (tennis courts, etc.)
  20. 7. Measurement & calculation of microplastic mass 20 Developed procedure

    to determine the mass of microplastics from composition, shape and surface area. Microplastic mass can now be calculated at low cost (patent pending).   1. Determining the composition, shape and surface area of the microplastic 2. The mass is calculated by entering the surface area into the composition and shape specific formula Surface area mass Relationship between PE (particle) surface area and mass
  21. 8. Calculation of microplastic (MicP) leakage volume Calculated using methods

    described in papers by Tokyo University of Science and Yachiyo Engineering (Yasuo Nihei,Takushi Yoshida,Tomoya Kataoka and Riku Ogata. High-Resolution Mapping of Japanese Microplastic and Macroplastic Emissions from the Land into the Sea. Water 2020, 12(4), 951. https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4441/12/4/951) 21 *1 Of the results obtained from the 2020 Albatross project, the data used was collected from the surface-level of rivers *2 Calculations made by Pirika only considered urban area ratios and didn’t include population density *3 The data for water outflow volume per 1km grid was provided by Yachiyo Engineering Co., Ltd. Calculation method 1. MicP concentration for a 1km grid is calculated from the observed MicP concentration*1 and river basin characteristics (population density and urban area ratio*2) 2. The water outflow volume is calculated for the 1km grid*3 3. [1]×[2] gives the MicP leakage volume for a 1km grid, and the sum of all figures for Japan gives the MicP leakage volume of Japan.
  22. Microplastics collected at 112 of the 120 survey locations in

    Japan - Collected products included artificial turf, coated fertilizers, polystyrene foam, etc. - Compared to other countries, Japan had a much higher proportion of artificial turf in its microplastic leakage Microplastics collected at 28 of the 29 locations where samples were taken from the bottom of the water - As with surface-level surveys, the majority were low specific gravity plastics such as PE - Presence of several types of high specific gravity plastics that weren’t found in surface-level surveys. Calculating the mass revealed new findings regarding the leakage - The seriousness of coated fertilizer leakage has become apparent - The leakage volume of artificial turf from doormats and golf driving ranges were 4 times greater than from other sporting facilities Japan has an annual microplastic leakage of 157 tonnes Newly revealed facts 22
  23. Microplastics collected at 112 out of 120 locations 23 Region

    Prefecture Rivers, harbors and lakes in which microplastics were present Hokkaido Hokkaido Abira River, Yufutsu River, Pacific Ocean Kanto Tokyo Arakawa River, Kottagawa River, Okuri River, the canal near Shibaura Park, the canal near Shibaura Island Tower, Tennozu Canal, Keihin Canal, Tokyo Bay, Tamagawa River, Nogawa River, Kanda River, Nihonbashi River, Sendaibori River, Sumida River, Meguro River Saitama Arakawa River, Tonegawa River, Fukukawa River, Karasawa River, Nakagawa River Chiba Tateyama Bay, Choshi Port, Tonegawa River, Lake Teganuma Ibaraki Tonegawa River, Lake Kasumigaura Chubu Aichi Toyokawa River, Umeda River Yamanashi Shiokawa River, Fuji River, Arakawa River, Byodo River, Fuefuki River Shizuoka Matsuge River, Sakai River, Oba River, Goten River Kansai Osaka Ishizu River, Higashiyoke River, Hazama River, Yamato River Shiga Sofu River, Chagama River, Lake Biwa, Setagawa River Hyogo Osaka Bay (Port of Kobe) Kyoto Chiji River, Toshitani River, Nango Pond, Nishikawa River, Hozugawa River Mie Ago Bay, Matoya Bay, Kaizou River Chugoku Okayama Sunagawa River, Sasagase River, Kurashiki River, Ashimori River Kyushu Fukuoka Umi River Kagoshima Amori River, Korida River
  24. Examples of plastic products found in 2020 24 Artificial turf

    (injection-molded type) Tarpaulin (blue tarp, etc.) Ropes (PE rope, PP rope, etc.) Coated fertilizer Styrofoam Artificial turf (extruded type)
  25. Compared to Southeast Asia and the EU (Surface level) Having

    compared the results of this survey (Japan) with those from Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia) and the EU (France, the Netherlands, the UK), significant regional differences were found in the proportion of microplastic products in the leakage. - Artificial turf Artificial turf amounted to 19.5% of the microplastic leakage in Japan. This proportion of artificial turf in Japan’s leakage was almost 2 times that of Southeast Asia (11.3%) and 25 times that of the EU (0.8%). - Styrofoam The proportion of Styrofoam in Japan’s microplastic leakage was 10.3%. The corresponding figure was a similar 10.8% in Southeast Asia while the proportion of Styrofoam was much higher in the EU at 64.7%. 25 Proportion of artificial turf among microplastics Proportion of Styrofoam among microplastics Percentage Percentage Japan Southeast Asia The EU Japan Southeast Asia The EU
  26. Microplastics collected from 28 out of 29 locations (water bottom)

    26 Region Prefecture Rivers, harbors and lakes in which microplastics were present Kanto Tokyo Arakawa River, Kanda River, Nihonbashi River, Sendaibori River, Sumida River, Meguro River Chiba Tateyama Bay, Choshi Port, Lake Teganuma Chubu Aichi Toyokawa River Shizuoka Sakai River, Oba River Kansai Osaka Ishizu River Shiga Lake Biwa, Setagawa River Kyoto Inukai River, Hozugawa River Kyushu Fukuoka Umi River Kagoshima Amori River
  27. New plastics with heavy specific gravity + light plastic too

    • As was the case with the surface-level survey, plastics with a light specific gravity (PE, PP, etc.) made up for the majority and accounted for more than 80% of the plastics collected from the bottom of the water. • Several varieties of heavy specific gravity plastics such as PVC were found at the bottom of the water. • Artificial turf was widely present at the bottom of the water too and made up for 11.2% of the total. 27 Proportion of microplastic composition Water surface Water bottom
  28. Leakage mass ratio shows severity of coated fertilizers The proportion

    of products in the plastic leakage varied greatly between unit ratio and mass ratio. In particular, coated fertilizers accounted for 15%* of the total mass while only representing 1.1% of the total number of collected units. From a mass ratio standpoint, it has become clear that the leakage of coated fertilizers plays a significant part in the overall microplastic leakage problem. *The leakage of coated fertilizers vary greatly depending on conditions and it is possible that the proportion may be even larger depending on the region and time of year. 28 Proportion of microplastic causal products per number of units Proportion of microplastic causal products per mass Unknown Artificial turf Films Other ropes Coated fertilizers Ropes Styrofoam Tarpaulin Unknown Artificial turf Other ropes Coated fertilizers Films Styrofoam Ropes Tarpaulin
  29. Reference: About coated fertilizers 29 Fertilizers that have a plastic

    surface coating for a longer lifespan. Mainly used in paddy fields, it accounts for more than 60% of the microplastic leakage in rice-growing areas.
  30. Extruded artificial turf (mass ratio 16%) Other: Tennis courts, etc.

    Injection-molded artificial turf (mass ratio 83%) 玄関マット, ゴルフ練習場など Artificial turf leakage revealed by detailed classification and mass ratio 30 Long pile: Football (outdoor and indoor), baseball, etc. Mass ratio of artificial turf per type Before degradation After degradation
  31. Microplastic (MicP) leakage of 157 tonnes per year 31 Japan’s

    yearly microplastic leakage was calculated to be 157 tonnes Calculations made using the results of this project's survey and based on the method described in a research paper by Tokyo University of Science and Yachiyo Engineering Co., Ltd. The results of the calculations by the same paper ranged from 204 to 294 tonnes/year. (Yasuo Nihei,Takushi Yoshida,Tomoya Kataoka and Riku Ogata. High-Resolution Mapping of Japanese Microplastic and Macroplastic Emissions from the Land into the Sea. Water 2020, 12(4), 951. https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4441/12/4/951)   [2] Calculation of water outflow volume per 1km grid [3] Calculation of MicP leakage volume per 1km grid The sum gives the MicP leakage volume for the whole of Japan [1] MicP concentration for a 1km grid calculated from MicP concentration and urban area ratio urban area ratio MicP concentration Relationship between urban area ratio and MicP concentration
  32. Next steps and challenges to solving the problem 1. Expand

    survey network and partnerships - Domestic:Build partnerships with companies and organizations from each region and undertake research work from local governing bodies and councilors - International:Expand Southeast Asia survey network in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme and local universities 2. Accelerate information disclosure - The results of this survey are published as open data in principle - Making Pirika’s own management, analysis and open data system available to others 3. Research into the source of plastic leakage - Dig deep into the leakage origin of products such as artificial turf (injection-molded type) that account for a large portion of plastic leakage - Funded as part of The Nippon Foundation‘s The Ocean and Japan Project for 2021 4. Develop technologies and businesses aimed at solving the problem - Countermeasures for artificial turf leakage - Countermeasures for leakage of other products 32
  33. 1. Expanding survey network and partnerships Domestic operations - Undertake

    research work from local governing bodies and councilors - Fulfill by partnering with local businesses and organizations* - Develop into self-sustaining business without reliance on subsidies Overseas operations - Partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for microplastic survey in the Mekong River Basin - Fulfill by partnering with local universities and such* * Upon completing a brief training course, each partner will be able to carry out research using the Albatross collection equipment and systems (commercial use permitted). 33
  34. Survey results are disclosed as open data in principle -

    https://en.opendata.plastic.research.pirika.org - Free to use, including for commercial use - Aimed to promote problem solving and improve transparency A system developed by Pirika for this project - Implementation of functions such as sample management, analysis and open data conversion - Plans to actively make the system available to others - Already used for research by Chiba Institute of Technology and UNEP Global monitoring of microplastics in oceans all over the world, Chiba Institute of Technology, Kameda Laboratory https://www.casio.kamedalab.com 2. Accelerating information disclosure 34
  35. 3. Researching the source of plastic leakage Continued collaboration with

    The Nippon Foundation’s The Oceans and Japan Project for 2021. A new survey is planned to determine the yet to be identified sources of plastic leakage. 35 1. Takanome survey (litter survey using smartphones and AI) 2. Survey of potential leakage products (collection and analysis of litter near the waterfront)
  36. Cooperation aimed at solving the problem of artificial turf leakage

    - Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. - Shimizu Corporation - Project IKKAKU Other projects and collaborations aimed at solving plastic leakage - Expand partnerships for each product and distribution - Promote litter picking activities through the litter picking social network PIRIKA 4. Developing technologies and businesses to solve the problem
  37. About Sumitomo Rubber Industries Cooperated in: 1. Research into artificial

    turf 2. Provision of samples for recycling Sumitomo Rubber Industries’ industry leading experience and knowledge in the field of artificial turf for sporting facilities was especially helpful in developing the classification method for the artificial turf. 37 × Cooperation to solve the problem of artificial turf leakage Artificial turf deemed to originate from a tennis court Artificial turf deemed to originate from a football ground Artificial turf deemed to originate from panels
  38. In collaboration with the Shimizu Corporation Institute of Technology, research

    and development is underway for a filter that would prevent the leakage of artificial turf via waterways. A filter accounting for the size of the particles of artificial turf in the outflow is currently under consideration. 38 × Cooperation to solve the problem of artificial turf leakage
  39. Retrieving artificial turf before leakage (Help: Sumitomo Rubber Industries, etc.)

    Cleaning and sorting (Help: Tokyo Institute of Science, TBM) Small stones and rubber chips will fall Artificial turf is blown away Cooperation to solve the problem of artificial turf leakage 39 × Crushing and pelletizing (Help: Heiwa Kagaku Industry) Blow molding of plastic bottles (Help: Heiwa Kagaku Industry)
  40. Other projects and collaborations to solve the plastic leakage problem

    Expand partnerships for each product and distribution - Cooperation with manufacturers and distributors is necessary to solve the leakage problem, not only for extruded artificial turf but for other products too - Injection-molded artificial turf and coated fertilizers in particular are highly present in the leakage and require countermeasures Promote litter picking through the PIRIKA litter picking social network - Collecting litter prior to its leakage is an important, direct solution to the problem - In the 10 years since its launch, PIRIKA, the litter picking social network app, has grown to one of the world’s largest litter picking services - So far, a total of 180 million pieces of litter have been collected in 108 countries across the world - Pirika will continue to expand its cooperation with local authorities and businesses to further promote the spread of litter picking activities. 40 Pick up litter Take photo of the litter Share on social media!
  41. Q&A 41 Ask us anything!