The spirits of Omotenashi cause plastic wastes
It is more tradition than anything to wrap things excessively in Japan due to their culture when giving gifts and being very hygienic in general. Japan’s obsession with hygiene combined with its pride in “omotenashi,” or customer service, dictates that everything is meticulously wrapped, rewrapped, and bagged in multiple layers of plastic.
To give an example, in the supermarket, there’s a wide variety of prepackaged foods completely wrapped in plastic that cannot be reused. Even vegetables and fruits which come in their own natural packaging are covered in plastic several times even.
In one local shop, even the potatoes and carrots are individually shrink-wrapped.
It is important that the food looks very clean and with minor imperfections, but that pollutes the earth on a very large scale.
Just below the United States, it is the most contributor to plastic pollution. It is incredible to think that a single person in Japan can use up to 500 plastic bags in a year. That is more than 1 plastic bag every single day.
Japan’s Environmental Challenges
The topic of recycling in Japan is extremely difficult to understand even for its residents. It creates a bigger problem since the rules are so complicated for citizens to understand, therefore even more difficult to follow. As people make mistakes in the recycling process with its tedious strict directions, less plastic gets recycled.
At the end of the day, only about 14% of plastic is truly recycled in Japan. This number is extremely low considering the high standards of recycling and all its different categories. The main problem is that the most sought method of disposing of plastic in Japan is through incineration which also pollutes the air with a very high amount of carbon emissions. Another huge percentage gets sent off to other countries that do not have the resources to deal with the amount of plastic and therefore it can start to accumulate in the water.
Japan also is having to adapt as environmental groups and others raise the alarm about how to cope with a world awash in plastics. Still, burning plastics made from fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming.
But many ordinary people are blissfully unaware of the reality. Public awareness of the problems associated with plastics is low in Japan.
Japanese Company Facing Environmental Issues
However, some Japanese companies are taking the initiative in addressing environmental issues. One example is MSC Co., Ltd.
MSC Co., Ltd is a Renowned Waste and Recycling Company in Sendai, Japan.
The mission of This Company is to revolutionize the recycling industry by using methods that are not harmful to the environment. They use several different methods which will be resumed below. One of the methods MSC uses is the integration of resin and machine which has made it possible to recycle plastics that are complicated to recycle and turn them into usable material with the use of their own innovative technology.
The MSC is doing groundbreaking things for the recycling industry in Japan which is considerably behind on these topics compared to other countries. It is very interesting the way they portray this information using animation films and different artistic activities in order to bring the content to visual learners as well.
If Japan is not careful, the country may be left out in the cold. Japan should incorporate more and more ideas from companies that come up with novel ideas. But it is not too late for Japan to lead on this issue, and the Japanese public agrees.