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TOP 5: Prefectures with Lowest Waste Generating in 2020

By Staff Writer
February 24, 2023
Govenments at all levels are increasingly taking action to reduce waste. This movement has been driven by desires to cut pollution, reduce dependence on landfills, and to cut unnecessary production and resource usage. Japan's Ministry of Environment recently compiled a list of prefectures that have undertaken special measures to reduce waste.

1: Nagano

A reusable bottle on a table
As of April 2021, Nagano prefecture has topped the list of prefectures with the lowest amount of garbage generated per person per day for six consecutive years.

One staff from Nagano Prefectural Government told the Shinano Mainichi Shimbun (media) that, "The amount of garbage will increase further in 2020 due to the impact of the new type of coronavirus infection. As more people cut back on eating out, we would like to encourage households not to produce food loss as well”.

In particular, some of the ways in which Nagano Prefecture officials are asking on citizens to reduce waste include choosing reusable containers when they buy beverages, and reducing food purchases to necessities to avoid food going unused.

2: Kyoto

One municipality in Kyoto Prefecture has been identifying households that are not separating their residents' discarded garbage, visiting their homes, and instructing them on how to do so.

Kyoto Prefecture has not always been able to achieve waste reduction. Until 2000, the amount of garbage had been steadily increasing. However, there were no more places to burn and bury it.

The issue of "garbage" tends to be avoided by many people, but to make it more approachable, the city has been conducting educational activities using manga, creating a series of handsome characters as role models.

3: Shiga

a selection of fresh vegetables
Since 2017, Shiga Prefecture has been promoting efforts to reduce food loss by launching the "SANPO YOSHI!” prefectural campaign, in an effort to reduce food loss.

The "SANPO YOSHI” is a prefectural citizens movement to reduce food loss through cooperation among businesses, organizations, and governments, based on the traditional expression, which means "benefiting in three ways" (good for the seller, good for the buyer, and good for society), which was valued by Omi Shonin (top-tier merchants) for centuries.

4: Kanagawa

A plastic bag filled with plastic straws and utensils
Marine pollution by plastics is now a major social issue on a global scale: in the summer of 2018, a baby blue whale was washed up on Yuhigahama beach in Kamakura, and plastic waste was found in its stomach.

Kanagawa Prefecture, an SDGs Future City, has taken this as a "message from the whale" and is tackling the growing problem of marine pollution, especially microplastics, as a concrete initiative of the SDGs for a sustainable society.

Specifically, they are working to abolish the use and collection of plastic straws and plastic bags.

5: Saitama

Graphic of a green recycle arrow mark
Among the 63 municipalities in Saitama Prefecture, Fujimi City was found to have the lowest amount of waste generated per person per day at just 728g.

Fujimi City has set a goal of further reducing the amount of garbage discharged per person per day to 635g by 2030.

Citizens are requested to practice 4R (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) initiatives such as reducing food waste, draining water, and reducing food loss.

Source: https://news.yahoo.co.jp/byline/iderumi/20210422-00233931
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