Getting Down and Dirty with Japan’s Garbage

    If you take a walk in a city in Japan, you might notice something. Where are all the rubbish bins!? Seriously, you’ve been carrying this empty onigiri wrapper around for an hour now and you just want, no need, to find a bin! If you do find one of these rare public trashcans, you’ll notice that it isn’t just one, but many different bins grouped together. You may have been able to find them, but now you have to work out if this onigiri wrapper paper or plastic. If you have ever lived in Japan, you’ve probably discovered that once you are responsible for your household’s garbage, things get a lot more complicated. Have you been faced with the challenge of sorting and cleaning your garbage meticulously, making sure to put it out on the right day in the right colored bag, or suffered the shame of having it returned to you? After these experiences it might seem like Japan is an incredibly clean and eco-friendly country that is super keen on recycling. However, things are even more complex if we look a little deeper.

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  • 1. What can you notice if you take a walk in a city in Japan?
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  • 2. What will you find out if you lived in Japan for longer?
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  • 3. What kind of shame do you might have to suffer?
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  • 4. What is Japan super keen on?
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