How to handle and recycle packaging

from items found in every Japanese home.



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Small paper cartons can be thrown away as mixed paper. Milk cartons can be additionally thrown away at a lot of supermarkets (see below separate category for details).

Drink cartons (Soy milk, coffee, juice etc.) are made of paper, just like milk cartons, but should only be in some municipalities thrown away with other them as mixed paper.

This is because the outside of a carton is made of paper, but the inside is coated with aluminium. If your municipality does not explicitly allow drinking cartons with aluminium layers as mixed paper, those should be disposed of as burnable trash. How to recycle soy milk cartons

There are two ways to recycle soy milk cartons. Put them in the Tetra Pak collection box at the supermarket (only some supermarkets have those). Send them by Tetra Pak recycling service These are the two ways.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Putting them in the Tetra Pak collection box at your local supermarket

When you go to the supermarket, you may find a box at the entrance for collecting plastic bottles, plastic containers, and paper containers. In the same way, some supermarkets and co-ops are collecting paper containers with an aluminium coating on the inside, such as soy milk cartons.

You can search for supermarkets that collect aluminum paper containers from the page below.

The advantage is that you can take your aluminium paper containers to the store and dispose of them as trash any day of the week. You don't have to store trash at home, so it won't be bulky.

The disadvantage is that few supermarkets collect aluminium paper containers, so there are often none in the neighbourhood. If you don't have a supermarket near you that collects Tetra Pak, this method is difficult. Mail them by Tetra Pak recycling service. If you don't have a supermarket near you that collects paper containers with aluminium, you can use a service called "Tetra Pak Recycling Service". This service is operated by three companies: Japan Soy Milk Association, Coarex Shinei, and Japan Tetra Pak. The service collects paper containers with aluminium from Tetra Pak, such as soy milk cartons.

You can send your paper containers with aluminium by mail, and the sent containers will be recycled into toilet paper and tissue paper.


Alkaline, manganese, lithium, and coin-type batteries are to be disposed of as non-burnable garbage. Some municipalities offer a collection on a specific day in front of your apartment or home.

Additionally collection boxes are often available at electronic appliances stores or city wards. For further details refer to our Gomi-Map recycling points


Cardboards (e.g. delivery boxes from online e-commerce retailers) are bulky and often collected at specific collections instead of in front of apartments. They are collected through a system called ‘Collective’ collection of resources. Which organisations such as neighbourhood associations, community associations, school PTAs and condominium management associations cooperate with collection companies to operate. Refer to our Gomi-Map platform to see these specific collection points.

Collection point rules:
-Put out by 8am on the appointed day.
-Do not put out the day before.
-Please separate your waste properly. Items that are not in accordance with the rules will not be collected.
-Please keep the collection point clean and tidy for everyone who uses it.
-The waste will be collected even if it rains. -Please do not put them in bags.

Small cardboards (Cereal and other paper boxes) are disposed of as mixed paper. Please separate the waste by type and tie it tightly with string.

Collection point rules:
-Plastic string is also acceptable.
-Do not use adhesive tape.
-Please do not dispose of smelly paper or dirty cardboard boxes as they cannot be recycled as paper products.
-Please dispose of them as burnable waste.


The easiest way to dispose of old appliances due to malfunction or replacement is to dispose of them at the store where you bought them. The easiest way to dispose of old appliances is to take them to the store where you bought them, but sometimes you forget where you bought them. So, here are some ways to dispose of your electronics. We will also introduce the advantages and disadvantages of each method, so please consider the method that best suits your needs.
Also, our Gomi-Map service shows available recycling spots nearby.

1-1) Have the store you bought it from dispose of it

Electrical appliance store The cheapest way to get rid of your unwanted electrical appliances is to have the store you bought them from dispose of them.  
Depending on the type of appliance, you may have to pay a few thousand yen for disposal, but this is all you need. In the case of a replacement, the disposal fee is the same amount, but there are no additional expenses other than the disposal fee.

Some electrical appliances stores offer as well sending services (see for example

1-2) Have the manufacturer dispose of it

If you forget the store where you bought the appliance or cannot visit the store due to moving or other reasons, you can ask the manufacturer of the appliance to dispose of it. If you ask the manufacturer to dispose of the appliance, you can be sure that it will be disposed of, but the disadvantage is that it will take some time to dispose of it due to the procedures involved. As with the disposal at the store where you purchased the appliance, there is a disposal fee ranging from free of charge to several thousand yen, although it varies depending on the type of appliance. The manufacturer may also charge you a fee to move the appliance for disposal, depending on the business you request.

1-3)Using a waste collection company

Waste collection You can also use a private waste collection service. Some companies advertise that they will dispose of all electrical appliances free of charge, but some of the companies that sell inexpensive products may be malicious. Collecting waste materials required qualifications such as a general waste collection and transportation permit. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has issued warnings against malicious businesses that do not dispose of waste materials properly and illegally dump them. To avoid unnecessary trouble, it is recommended to look for a reliable company based on word of mouth and fee structure.

It is also possible to get bulk quotes from multiple companies on the Internet, but this is not recommended because you may be forced to deal with persistent phone calls and emails. On Kurashi-no-Market, there are many companies registered to collect your home appliances at once without pestering you. You can also use reviews to find a reliable service provider near you.

1-4)Use local government collection

City Hall Electrical appliances other than the four items that fall under the Home Appliance Recycling Law (TVs, air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines) can be collected by the local government if you apply for them as oversize garbage. Purchase a bulky trash sticker at a nearby convenience store and take it to the designated place. One disadvantage is that it is difficult to have them picked up at a time of your choosing. This is not a good option if you want to get rid of it in a hurry.


Make sure to clean the packaging before throwing away. Dirty items cannot be recycled and may even contaminate clean, separated items. Make sure to separate food containers before putting them into garbage (i.e. caps and tubes separate). Multicomponent plastics are often not recycled, therefore separating food containers in components increases the recycle rate. Please wash, rinse, and wipe off any dirt. Items that cannot be cleaned should be disposed of as burnable garbage. Tubes of mayonnaise, etc. are difficult to clean or wash out, so please dispose of them directly as burnable garbage.


Food waste is disposed of as burnable waste. Currently, there are almost no recycling spots for organic waste available. There are various kinds of food waste such as vegetable peelings, fish bones, and leftover rotten fruits. 80% of food waste from households is water. It is said that by draining food waste, 10% of its weight can be reduced. Not only does it reduce the amount of garbage, but it also reduces the unpleasant odour, and the reduction in water content increases the efficiency of combustion, leading to a reduction in the cost of garbage disposal and reduction in CO2 emission (less energy used to burn the food waste).


The paper used in milk cartons is high-quality paper. If you throw it away, you are wasting a valuable resource. Thirty milk cartons are equivalent to five pieces of toilet paper. Be sure to recycle them. Please follow the following rules when you put them out for collection.

1. Rinse the inside of the milk carton well after drinking.
2. Cut it open, flatten it, and dry it well.
3. Bundle them up and put them out for collection.


PET Bottles are one of the few plastics with a high recycling rate in Japan. In order to make recycling easier, it is important to separate it into components. PET bottles as PET and caps & labels as plastic waste.


Make sure to clean the packaging before throwing away. Dirty items cannot be recycled and may even contaminate clean separated items. Please use up the contents (avoid food waste) of plastic and plastic containers and packaging, and be sure to clean them before throwing them away. Please wash, rinse, and wipe off any dirt. Items that cannot be cleaned should be disposed of as "burnable garbage.

Please put out your garbage in a single garbage bag (please do not put unnecessary plastic bags in anything, just put them in a large garbage bag).

For items with label stickers (best-before dates, price labels, etc.), please remove the small but easily removable ones. If the label cannot be easily removed, please dispose of it as is as plastic containers and packaging.