To protect and lifehack.

I’m not really sure when this happened, but somewhere along the way, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has become a leading source of lifehacks in Japan.

These interesting and handy tips have all been disseminated by the department’s Disaster Management Division as ways to make do with ordinary household items if trapped at home, but you’ll find a lot of them work perfectly well in daily life too. They’ve been regularly posted on the division’s official Twitter account (@MPD_bousai) for years and it seems there’s no end to their ingenuity.

Now, they’re bringing us a trick that went over quite well with social media users and it involves making a garbage bag out of newspaper. And this isn’t an origami garbage box like we showed you before, nor is it simply lining a garbage bin with newspaper. This is a super easy way to make a functional garbage bag from a square sheet of newspaper that can be explained in a 20-second video.

Not only is it a good backup for conventional garbage bags when in a pinch, but according to the above post, it also does a pretty good job of absorbing moisture and odors. I’m not sure where this falls on the environmentalism scale since you’re tossing the newspaper rather than recycling it, but in doing so you’re also reducing plastic, so at least it seems like a net good thing… Maybe if we had some hemp newspapers?

Either way, comments from those who watched the video and gave it upwards of 10,000 likes were very impressed.

“That’s really convenient! Looks good for everyday use too.”
“Even a lazy person like me can do it!”
“I’m pretty clumsy, but I think I can do that.”
“But I don’t have newspapers or round garbage cans.”
“My teacher in elementary school used to do this!”
“Now I don’t have to use shopping bags.”
“Ever since they started charging for plastic bags I’ve been doing this.”

As that last comment mentioned, since July 2020 supermarkets, convenience stores, and other businesses across Japan have been required by law to charge for plastic bags instead of giving them out for free with purchases. Since those bags were often reused as garbage bags, this change left a lot of people with nowhere to put their trash.

While this is a good alternative, other comments also pointed out that a newspaper subscription isn’t as common a thing as it used to be. Still, it couldn’t hurt to go out, pick up an issue, and be set with garbage bags for a while while also supporting local journalism if it still exists in your area.

Source: Twitter/@MPD_bousai via Netlab
Top image: Twitter/@MPD_bousai
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