Japan has an unlikely new export product: the sewage it normally dumps into rivers or the sea. The first buyer is the Australian mining industry. Could this also become a new money earner for developing countries? Well, no. The “export quality” sewage in question is effluent from high-tech Japanese wastewater treatment plants.
An innovative trade experiment will take place in the autumn of 2010. Australian ships with iron ore for Japan, will return, not with seawater in their ballast tanks, but with highly treated sewage water.