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In Japan plastic, paper, PET bottles, aluminium and glass are collected and recycled by law.
It’s easy to recycle while you are travelling through Japan. Public rubbish bins (trash cans) found in train stations or outside convenience stores are separated into containers for different materials. Most are labelled in English so you know what to put wear – failing that, ask a Japanese passerby.
The Japanese have a great word that sums up their recycling policy. ‘Mottanai’ 勿体無い (pronounced moht-ta-nai) is often translated as ‘what a waste!’. However this is not only used to describe a waste of resources, like food or electricity, but also time, emotions, potential, dreams and talent.