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Environmental group tries to clean up after local festivals

Date Posted: 2005-09-26

On an island filled with public events and festivals throughout the year, trash accumulates.

A local organization, The Association of the Earth, is working a program to clean things up to protect the environment. Organization officials say there are mounds and mountains of trash scattered all around festival and concert venues after an event. Much of it is plastic and paper products such as food containers.

The Association’s goal is to promote use of lease containers for foods, and encouraging people not to trash the containers themselves. They are plastic and can be cleaned and used repeatedly.

The Association staged a forum, The Second Reuse Containers for Food Forum, in mainland Japan to promote the project. Non Profit groups rallied from across the country, including Okinawa. The local representative, Hiroko Miyara, said “we made agreements with everybody,” pledging to do better in protecting the environment with the Re-use Containers Network.

Miyara says Naha City’s recycling plaza is the focal point for leasing the containers obtained for free. The project actually began five years ago, and is gaining momentum as it is being promoted. The environmental activist says “we are using dish and container washers too. Now, at school events and other festivals, people are pitching in.”

Reusable containers not only help a clean environment, but promote conservation. Unlike wooden trash, including chopsticks, plastic is easily cleaned. Still, Miyara appeals for people to bring their own containers, lunch boxes, cups and chopsticks from home, and then take them home again. The environmental group says that means no trash, no dust to affect nature, and the earth stays clean.

One other tip passed on to shoppers; always carry your own shopping bags from home, and don’t use plastic bags provided by stores.

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