Japan is a country where consumer society rules. However, I was surprized to see that the importance of (or rather the necessity for) recycling garbage is not completely ignored.

Actually, Japanese people are even quite aware of the problem and they are incited to sort their garbage and to recycle.

Garbage recycling in railway stations

For example, this kind of “puzzling garbage bin” can be found in every railway or underground station. It is composed of several compartments: one for newspapers and magazines, another for plastic bottles (PET bottles, or petto botoru ペットボトル), another for cans, yet another for glass and the last for other garbage (by the way, did you know that a man comes every day to collect magazines, newspapers or manga, and will sell them on the black market?!). Also, at the exit of combini, you’ll necessarily find a garbage bin where “burnable” (paper, carton,…) and “non-burnable” trash are separated.

Sorting of household garbage is also starting in certain regions, and many supermarkets now recommend their customers to bring their own bag (their “my bag” マイバグ) for shopping.

It is true that Japanese people consume a lot, and throw a lot away, but some of them really try to control the amount of garbage and avoid an ecological disaster.