Garbage Separation in Japan

Sorting garbage is really an extensive process from what I’ve seen.  Even in fast food restaurants, like McDonald’s or Lotteria, they will ask customers to kindly sort their garbage.  I’ve had this experience a couple times over my couple of visits to Japan.

In McDonald’s, I remember having to separate my drink into its component straw, lid, and cup before disposing of it.  Also, any leftover ice or drink has to be poured into the liquid recepticle.  Then the straw, lid, and cup go into different disposal holes.  I kind of wish they had similar things in North America where the customer should take a little responsibility in helping separate garbage into recyclables and disposable items.  We could even add compostables to one of the categories.

I also had a similar experience at the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum (in Ikeda) run by instant noodle giant, Nissin.  I had to pour out and leftover liquid into one hole, then dispose of the paper top into another, and the styrofoam bowl into yet another hole.  Chopsticks even had their own little slot.  As for my bottle, they had a special PET bottle hole to collect all the drink bottles that people consumed.

Garbage separation at the Ramen Museum

I’ve also come across this YouTube video about Garbage Separation in Japan.  I think it was filmed by Sakura House, who specializes in providing accommodation for foreigners staying in Tokyo.

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One comment

  1. I just realised through reading this that I never sat down to eat at a fast food restaurant. I always took take out back to the office from the Wendy’s 2 doors down, and the McD’s across the station. Now I feel a little bad throwing everything as one into the garbage, cuz my school generated a LOT. I’ll just console myself with the fact that I took as little packaging as possible. (Imagine their looks when I said I didn’t want any bags!)

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