Okinawa Hai fallback



I have just written about a recyclable shopping bag I bought yesterday at G-AREA in Plaza Shopping Center as my Wednesday post and today I saw a newspaper article on local newspaper about supermarkets in Okinawa Prefecture charging for plastic bags effective as of the end of May.

The agreement made between the prefectural government and 10 big supermarkets on the island targets 80% reduction of the usage of plastic bags which saves approximately 312 million bags a year. If they can reach the target, it would save 28,500 barrels of 52-gallon oil in each.

I’m all for saving the environment! Little efforts make difference.

You’d better hurry and get recyclable bags if you shop off-base! If you want cute shopping bags, hurry to the G-AREA, ETWS or MIX at Cafe Unizon!


  1. I use various canvas bags that I have collected over the years and keep in my car for small commissary trips, aafes trips and any trips I make to groceries off base. I do need plastic bags once in a while so I do occasionally get them from the px or commissary as the need arises.

    I use the little white trashbags for the small trashcans around my house, kitty litter changes (so it doesn’t stink up my big trash can) and for packing material in boxes I am shipping to friends and family. I keep a few in the car for litter pickup I do when walking or if I have sandy or wet shoes or something to stow.

    I live off base and have never had a problem putting those little white bags in the trash. They are usually inside a clear bigger bag anyhow. Oh, and my neighborhood trash doesn’t seem to care if they are printed with the neighborhood stamp so I use the clear 13 gallon trashbags from the commissary and the larger clear leaf bags for yard waste.

  2. Marisa, I forgot to mention that I have used plastic bags for trash as well. I’ve used more of those clear plastic bags that I got from JUSCO. I thought that the Japanese garbage collectors would not take my trash if I have them in white bags as they can’t see inside. I have also always wondered how others have used their plastic bags.

    Joshua, the backpacking idea is really good. You can be nice to the environment by saving plastic bags and gasoline! Plus, it’s an exercise. Can’t beat that!

    Lan, I’ve had the same experience and I have told the store keeper the same thing except in Japanese! How funny!

  3. I’m with you, Marisa. I always use the plastic bags for our countless trash cans in our home and always keep a stash in the car to keep the “carbage” at a low. Also try to have them when we go to parks since the Japanese parks seem to never have trash cans around.
    Kaho, thanks for the heads up! So i ran into the 100 yen store to get some of the cute recyclable grocery bags and had to giggle when I tried to tell the Japanese cashiers NOT to put my new, “trying-to-be green” purchase in plastic bags! It took some hand gesturing and smiles, but in the end, they understood, thank goodness!

  4. You’re not cheap, Sara! Whatever works and I am a big fan of 100 Yen Store. I need to check out 100 yen stores for their recyclable bags if they are cute and cheap! I was excited to see Commissary carry those green shopping bags. Rebecca, you’re a champ for sewing them up. Marisa, I have donated my plastic bags through the Okinawa International Women’s Club to the Hospice Care Unit at the Adventist Medical Center as they use plastic bags as trash bags. I live in town, so I use transparent trash bags made for Okinawa City.

  5. I had read about this a while back, and already was bringing my own bags for short commissary trips (I saved my cloth Trader Joe’s bags, but only had 2). My friend, Edith, led me to – they sell these types of shopping bags too, different patterns, very cute. They come in a set of 5 and each bag holds as much as 2 plastic bags. I LOVE mine – and they roll up tight with snaps and come in a little satchel, I keep them in my trunk at all times. I love the ones at ETWS too – but they’re pricey. I say for 100¥ bags you can definitely replace as needed.

    Small trash bags, Marisa – I use Ruffies. They come in a roll, and some are scented. If there’s nothing gross or wet in the bathroom trash, I toss the trash into my bigger bag & reuse the small one. I barely go through those at all. I haven’t even used 1/4 of a roll since I arrived in June.

    FYI- if you use self check-out at the commissary, you’ll have to have the staff member “zero out the bagging area”. I love shopping in town with my envirosax!

  6. Or you can REALLY save (plastic & money) & just use whatever under-used bags you happen to have around the house (we currently have approximately 142,948,593 in such genres as backpack, messenger bag, tote, satchel, freebie, etc). We’ve taken to walking &/or biking to both San-A & the Commissary with fair-sized backpacks. We’re exercising (the more we buy the more we burn on the ride home) & getting our shopping done. Just an idea for anyone else interested in really reducing (gas, time, bags & money). Cheers!

  7. I’m going on a mission tomorrow to find some of these cute recyclable grocery bags, thanks for all the great information on where to get them. I’ve been using the plastic bags as garbage bags for my small trash cans for such a long time and have always been mighty proud of myself for reusing those pesky plastic bags. I thought everyone did the same, used the bags as trash bags, but maybe I’m the only one (I’m usually a couple years behind in the times). So, what does everyone use for their little trash can trash bags?

  8. I have some cute ones from the 100 yen store. The ones I bought from the commissary already have popped seams. For the sake of staying green, I am going to sew them up or reinforce the seams with some scraps of fabric. It is so awesome that the Japanese government is taking the lead in the environment. Thanks for the heads up Kaho.

  9. Call me cheap if you want but I adore the set of reusable bags I got from Daiso (100 yen). They have some cute prints and a few different sizes. Ive had them for about 3 yrs and they haven’t failed me yet!