Marine Litter Cleanup on World Natural Heritage Site Ogasawara Islands

Collect six flexible container bags’ worth of litter



Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.

Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. (Tokyo: 4183; President & CEO: Tsutomu Tannowa) and the Ogasawara Whale Watching Association ran a marine litter cleanup with Ogasawara Village on December 10, 2018, along the Matsuyama coast of Chichijima, one of the Ogasawara Islands. Organized by the Ogasawara Whale Watching Association, the cleanup saw a total of 20 ocean and mountain guides collect marine litter that had drifted ashore or been left on the beach. Trash recovered by the guides included fishing nets, buoys and other fishing gear, as well as marine litter that had drifted over from elsewhere in Japan and abroad, such as plastic bottles and toothbrushes. Together with other large trash including tires and toilet bowls mixed in with this, the guides collected six large flexible container bags’ worth of waste – totaling approximately 6 m3 in volume.

To raise awareness about marine litter and showcase the recent cleanup effort, a panel exhibition will be run over the course of January 12–28, 2019, at Tokyo Sea Life Park in Japan.

Background to the Cleanup Effort

Since 2015, Mitsui Chemicals has been supporting the work of the Japan Environmental Action Network (JEAN), a general incorporated association and pioneer in addressing the issue of marine litter through Mitsui Chemicals’ One-Coin Club*1 which is a framework for collaborative CSR between the company and its employees. Mitsui Chemicals and JEAN have been organized lectures and workshops about marine litter to understand the current situation and consider what can be done. The most recent undertaking was the cleanup, which was organized after learning about the state of the marine litter problem in the Ogasawara Islands.

Ogasawara Cleanup Overview

Location Matsuyama coast, Chichijima, Ogasawara Islands
Date Monday, December 10, 2018
Organizer Ogasawara Whale Watching Association
Assistance Ogasawara Village
Sponsor Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.
Participants 20
Collection Method Trash was sorted into the four categories of combustible trash, glass, metal and hazardous items. Trash that can return to nature, such as driftwood and seaweed, was gathered and buried at the back of the beach.
Amount Collected Six flexible container bags’ worth (approximately 6 m3)

*1One-Coin Club
Beginning in 2007, this CSR initiative sees Mitsui Chemicals match the donations of its employees. A committee of donating employees directs contributions to organizations that are working to solve social issues.

Protecting Our World Natural Heritage Project