Forbidden secrets of the bagless ninja

Via Making Light: how to use a furoshiki. Yes -- now, thanks to the internet, anyone can master the mysterious and arcane Japanese art of wrapping things in a big square of cloth. Welcome to the age of miracles.

Popularity factor: 4


Good (but a bit weird) to see this coming out of the Environment Agency as a "stop using plastic bags" drive. Stop global warming by reinstating traditional Japanese practices - I can see it now...


So every time we go shopping we will take a bunch of reusable sheets, and all our groceries will fit perfectly. Right. Sure.

Soon we run out of old plastic bags to put our garbage in. We will therefore buy large boxes of disposable plastic bags in which we can discard our old beer cans and orange peels.

Overall consumption of plastic bags: unchanged.
Overall consumption of expensive cloths: vastly increased.
Overall CO2 consumption: increased because of forests destroyed to make more expensive cloths.
Time wasted learning stupid obscure knot-tying skills: vastly increased.
Result: an increase in global warming and a decrease on time spent in productive pursuits.

But the ministry will have its desired result of being able to say that there are fewer plastic bags being given away at cash registers.


Don't worry, Denske, the project was launched in April, I'm sure everybody's forgotten about it now.

When I used to accept plastic bags every time I went shopping, the accumulation rate far outpaced my use of them as trash bags, so I can see this doing some good. Also, note that they are made of recycled PET bottles (although I seem to recall Penn and Teller gleefully claiming that recycling PET bottles was actually BAD for the environment, HAHAHA STUPID HIPPIES.)

Of course when you put it that way there's not much of substance to distinguish this campaign from the standard "take your own bag shopping" one, so I suppose it is as Simon suggests an attention-grabbing thing. You know: "Look, furoshiki!! Also, I know it's been a while and we all forgot, but plastic bags are still a waste of oil and energy."


Hm. I think the best thing about this webpage is the contact information at the bottom. The email address for the Ministry of the Environment is... MOE@env.go.jp

Surely this gives a whole new set of ideas for awareness-raising campaigns.


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