Well in Japan - they’re a bit excessive with the wrapping. If you go to a convenience store and buy lunch, a drink and a magazine, you’ll get three bags with each item wrapped individually. That much wrapping adds up to a lot of plastic bags in the trash.
And while the whole world uses between 500 billion and 1 trillion bags a year, the wrapping-happy Japanese are solely responsible for about 30 billion alone, that’s 300 bags for every adult.
And that’s just the bags! That doesn’t even count the “sub” wrapping - the plastic container the lunch is in, or the little tiny package that cookie is wrapped in, inside the container! So all this means Japan probably uses more plastic than any other society in the world - and environmentalists are going after them.
According to MSNBC, the Japanese Parliament just passed a law that lets the Government issue warnings to stores and business that aren’t doing enough to reduce, recycle and reuse.
So how come they use so much wrapping? Well it’s a Japanese custom for courtesy and hygiene.
The idea of handing someone something that’s unwrapped is considered unhygienic where food is involved - and just plain rude for other goods. Even when you buy something from a store and they give it to you, it’s considered a gift in a way. And the traditional idea of gift giving in Japan is geared more toward presentation than content. So everything is elaborately packaged and wrapped – even if the wrapping costs more than the pack of gum inside. The layers of wrapping have important social meaning. The more layers, the more important and significant the gift.
But for the environment’s sake, all that wrapping’s gotta go.