President’s Message

 

Cultivation of the young generation to tackle environmental issues

 

I am Toshiaki YOSHIOKA (Tohoku University), who took office as the 15th President of the Japan Society of Material Cycles and Waste Management.

 

Although it is recognized that waste is an important resource, specific activities to supplement this have not been fully implemented until now. We must take the lead in addressing efforts to firmly establish a society in which waste can really become a resource and then we have to make a strategy to realize it. Proper treatment, recycling of waste materials, and reduction of resources input require the development of high, ideal and realistic systems and technologies. It is necessary to create a circulation system of resources with new concepts. One of the concepts may be creating a system that encompasses both the “artery” industries, the industries which produce products, and the “vein” industries, which implement collection and treatment of waste from artery industries —such as the vein system, Japan’s new recycling industrial system called ‘rare metal recovery complex (RMRC)’, and the artery system of the materials reproduction promoted by RMRC—without being based on the premise of waste. I believe that a society in which those who implement the ability to recycle materials produced by themselves and can be self-reliant, is desirable.

 

If many young researchers, engineers, business persons, administrators and citizens are not participating in academic activities, our JSMCWM itself will shrink and will not be sustainable. It is important for many young people to be engaged in the field of material cycle and waste management (MCWM), and to increase the momentum of their participation in these fields. I believe that people who are not aware of or willing to participate in these fields should join the MCWM with the mindset that it can create a positive change.

 

Recently, a lot of disasters have been occurring frequently all over the country. Through the framework of D.Waste-net, a disaster waste treatment network of Japan, experts with a lot of practical experience have been part of the disaster management field as administrative support and on-site support with the form of their affiliated institutions. Some of the roles of our society are to organize and review not only temporary staffing but also various information to strengthen the preparation in ordinary time. Unfortunately, due to the influence of climate change, we must respond to many types of disasters. Also, it is important to make a life style that does not produce waste through 3Rs even if a disaster occurs. To discuss about all these is also one of important missions of our society.

 

JSWCWM has also focused on international efforts and is composed of many wonderful members. We will strengthen our accumulated skills and further have the responsibility to make these skills available to the world. Evaluation of the international academic journal that we have jointly published with “Korean Society of Waste Management” has been rising over the past few years, and efforts to further raise it are necessary. Some international conferences such as 3RINCs are also leading together in other countries, and we are also making relationships with major international organizations.

 

Especially recently, the plastic waste issues, which originated in marine garbage, have become a big problem worldwide. In order to confront this problem with both environmental management and 3Rs, it is impossible to find a solution unless a lot of stakeholders, such as citizens, governments, industries, and academia, form plans to tackle these issues.

Expectations for JSMCWM, consisting of a variety of members, will become greater and greater so we must always try to fulfill these.

Toshiaki Yoshioka

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