There are a lot of things done here in Japan that are useful to say the least. One of those things is how products, particularly liquid products, are sold. As you already know Japan is an island which has a relatively large population making space limited especially on little islands like Okinawa. Recycling is very important as it sorting trash to ensure that everything is disposed of in as efficient of a manner as possible. In some ways Japan goes above and beyond to ensure that this can be done easily by it’s residents and consumers.
One of the ways that Japan handles this situation is offering refill bags for the liquid products sold in stores. Liquid products include shampoo, conditioner, window cleaner, hand soap, dish soap, laundry detergent, and so much more. These bags contain the same product but rather than coming in a hard plastic container which cannot be condensed down they come in a plastic bag which can be flattened down after the contents have been removed therefore taking up much less space when thrown away.
These bags are not only available for select products either, they are out there for everything that is liquid soap and on the shelf. There are also other products which have similar refills, such as air fresheners, which come in bags like this. You also may find that Japan uses the same type of bags rather than cans for foods such as pasta sauce and soup.
How do I use it:
When you go to the store you’ll see that although these are refill bags you can still find plastic bottles. These plastic bottles are usually a bit more expensive then the refill and are meant for the initial purchase of the product. If you are purchasing the item for the first time you would purchase the plastic bottle of the product. If you find that you like it and would prefer continuing to use this product then simply buy the appropriate refill bag the next time you go to the store.
If you would rather save a little bit of money or (if you’re like me) would rather have a cute container for your shampoo and conditioner instead of using the plastic bottle produced by the company you can go to any of a variety of store around Japan and purchase an empty pump bottle. I personally have a Gachapin and Mukku for my shampoo and conditioner. This will allow you to skip purchasing the plastic bottle all together and just buy the refills.
Using the refill bag:
Actually refilling your bottle is easy. A small tear off area is at the top of the bag and can be easily removed. You can then pour the contents of the bag into your appropriate bottle. In some cases you may even have a bag with a special design allowing you to insert part of the bag into the opening of the bottle to prevent spilling.
Give it a try:
I think that these bags for refilling your favorite products are just great and worth giving a try. One thing’s for sure, you certainly use less space in the trash can and avoid having a huge pile of bottles around the house.
Have you even tried products like these? Let us know in the comments below.