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Business trends

Global angst over plastic waste spurs Japan to act on packaging

Makers turn to biodegradable plastics and other high-end paper alternatives

Used plastic bottles are seen at a waste collection point in Tokyo, Japan.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Spurred by tighter international regulations, Japanese manufacturers are rushing to cash in on rising global demand for environmentally sustainable packaging.

With Japan the world's second-biggest producer per capita of plastic waste behind the U.S., local manufacturers are turning to biodegradable plastics and specialty paper products as an alternative to single-use plastic packaging.

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