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Chinese recyclers battle for bottles in Japan's plastic market

Surging demand sees prices of used containers double over last 12 months

Dafa Japan's recycling facility in Fukuoka can process about 10 tons of plastic bottles an hour, but is currently not running at capacity due to a bottle shortage. (Photo by Nana Shibata)

FUKUOKA -- Discarded plastic bottles are so ubiquitous that it's difficult to imagine Lin Qi Qian's problem: He can't source enough of the waste to keep his recycling factory running at full capacity.

President of Chinese-owned recycler Dafa Japan, Lin says the company's 29,000-sq.-meter facility in Fukuoka, on Japan's southern island of Kyushu, can recycle 5,000 tons of bottles monthly but is currently handling only 2,000.

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