Japanese company tackles plastic consumption by making tote bags out of discarded umbrellas

The bags are sold under the tagline “We hope this brand ceases to exist after 10 years”.

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Decorate your room like a bento box with the new soy sauce bottle light

Add a taste of Japan to your home decor. 

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Leading bottled water brand in Japan goes label-free to reduce waste, angers many

Coca-Cola told to try harder in these trying times.

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Japanese otaku now have special trash box just for merch of their former anime and idol crushes

“I don’t love my crush anymore, but I want someone else to give them their love,” says message on Kyoto container.

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Why do Japanese recycle bins have two openings but dump everything into the same compartment?

One says cans, one says bottles, but they end up in the same place.

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Starbucks turns its milk packs into notebooks with popular Japanese stationery brand

Global coffeehouse chain sets out on a sustainable journey in Japan. 

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Fish recycling program begins at conveyor-belt sushi chain Kurazushi

New project makes the popular chain the first of its kind to utilize 100 percent of the fish they acquire.

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Beautiful recycled cardboard lampshades have us planning an office makeover

Bathe in the warm glow of owning something recycled, and a light bulb, with these magic cardboard lamps.

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What happens to unsold manga? Some of it becomes toilet paper, these photos show

Manga author relates the depressing tale of seeing the ignoble fate of his leftover comics.

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Yokohama government trash-helper app gives poignant philosophical advice to depressed citizens

Sometimes help can come from where you least expect it… like, REALLY least expect it.

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Vintage kimono can now be recycled into beautiful Japanese-style parasols! 【Pics】

How would you like a lovely one-of-a-kind parasol made with material from an authentic kimono?

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Twitter user finds incredibly clever way to reuse Japanese capsule toy containers

Sure, the toys are cool, but it turns out their cases can be pretty useful too.

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No electricity? No problem! Empty plastic bottles are helping to cool homes in impoverished areas

Can one man’s trash be another man’s treasure? To these people, it sure can.

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Don’t throw away those old water bottles — use them for cooking instead!

Short on cookware or want to minimize clean-up time after dinner? Skip the recycling center and use your old bottles to whip up something good!

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Here are seven genius items to give new life an purpose to old water bottles

With plastic trash choking our oceans, it’s time to put those offenders to good use!

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An architect figured out a brilliant way to reuse thousands of empty beer bottles

Next time you’re about to dump beer bottles in the recycling bin, consider that they could be used to make a house instead.

Armed with $11,000 and 8,500 discarded beer bottles, Chinese architect Li Rongjun spent over four months using bottles to build the second floor of his two-story house in Chongqing, China, according to Chinese media.

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Kyoto’s newest anime mascot has a stinky name, is worried about garbage, and is a fairy

The Japanese are rather enthusiastic when it comes to recycling. In most Japanese cities, domestic waste has to be separated into a minimum of three categories: combustable “raw” garbage, recyclable plastic and recyclable paper. Some areas have their residents splitting their trash into as many as 10 categories.

Even with that said, there’s probably no place in Japan more outreach than Kyoto when it comes to recycling plastic, as they’ve had a little magical help from a handsome new mascotGomi no Yousei (Fairy of the Garbage). Check out the bizarre recycling enthusiast after the break!

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“Recycling in Japan” or “Reasons to get it right and avoid eternal shame”

Is Japan’s recycling system the most complicated in the world? It sure feels like it sometimes. Household waste must of course be separated into burnable and non-burnable, but after that there’s a dizzying array of recycling categories to break your non-burnables into. Since Japan is a relatively small country without masses of land to use for burying waste, the vast majority of waste used to be incinerated. However, with increasing ecological awareness in the 1990s came new legislation to minimise the amount of waste being burnt, and promote recycling.

Public awareness of the need to recycle is high, but the system can be baffling for new foreign residents. The problem lies not only in the array of recycling categories, but also in the apparent overlap between them: the grey areas. Is an empty pizza box considered recycled paper? Or is it burnable? Paper packages? “Other”? And if a bottle is made of a different type of plastic to the standard PET, is still a “pet bottle”, or is it just “plastic”?

Today we bring you six reasons to learn what goes in what box, and a few hints for getting it right along the way.

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Tokyo station turns commuters’ discarded umbrellas into sparkling Christmas trees

Remember all of those umbrellas that were abandoned in train stations in October and November this year during the typhoon season? Well at least one station in Tokyo definitely does, but thankfully they’re putting a few of them to good use: by turning them into surprisingly pretty Christmas trees!

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How to crush a plastic bottle without touching it

During these sweltering summer days it’s not unusual to down more than a few plastic bottles of water, pop, or juice. And surely with all that drinking you’re bound to accumulate a pile of empty plastic bottles.

Burden by all of these bottles, collapsing them to a convenient size for recycling can be an energy and time draining chore. That’s why the folks at Yahoo! R25 wanted to share an effortless way to break your plastic bottles down to size.

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