ZERO WASTE – A way to enrich your life & the society | Akira Sakano | TEDxAPU



so good afternoon everyone good afternoon so how many of you like coffee and that okay great so how many you of you actually bought coffee this morning yeah awesome then how many of you not even coffee but all something bottled water or something to drink today yeah not much okay great so forever actually bought coffee or something to drink today it's my topics today is really relevant to you so anyway so when we want to buy a coffee if it's on for these days may I go to a convenience store we have many choices like just lining up here so we have something in the cans something in the paper container right then something also in the fancy plastic bottles I mean cos then this is you can even go to the cashier to fill it in with the paper cups right so you may choose like one of this depending on your taste preference or something like seasonal or likely not something you want to try something new but in this situation personally I'd only choose the wine cans by so the waste problem or the gummy problem in Japan has been rise for many decades in unison was the high consumption and population increase sort to show the numbers on 52 million tons of trash was strewn all throughout in 2007 in Japan which kind of equivalent to like 0.5 kilograms of trash per person in a day it's pretty much um to be fair it's actually including the industrial wastes but still industrial waste is very relevant to you as well then these are the numbers so in 2010 2200 can villians in the US dollars was spent to manage the waste overall the word then it's the World Bank luxury states in 2025 it's going to be three hundred seventy five billion dollars spent to waste management so it's pretty much so it's not only about the ways but we are spending so much money on our waste management so today I'm Ashley I'm coming from that town called kamikatsu which is much in the rural areas of Japan in Tokyo prefecture and it's really in the mountainous area like this it's very beautiful you can feel of the rice terraces and when we are selected as long the best right services of the hundred this section or we are part of the most beautiful villages in Japan meanwhile our population is really in the decrease so we only have right now 1600 population and the more than half of it is about 65 years old and a quarter of our population is above 85 years old so it's very aged well it's really unusual town in the rural areas the depopulation is not really you know the unique thing for our town we were famous for the first time ever in Japan to declared for the zero waste policy back in 2003 so what do I mean by their waste so the research is done it for it nothing goes to incineration or to landfill so you don't burn anything or you don't just you know dump directly to the land but as a pure concept it means nothing to be produced even to go waste yeah and then personally I also defined a waste by a thing become waste when people think it's a waste so if you don't consider it a waste a it's not waste yeah so the organizations are all waste economy the nonprofit organization I mean so we try to change people's mindset actions or the social systems to shift the waste into non waste yeah so how all this starts so our in your town in chemicals same as any other Japanese rural areas we did open burning so basically people just print everything outside their houses and it was usual it was okay until all these plastics and complicated material coming into our daily life so it was just natural thing but when all these complicated things coming in then our daily consumption increase people had to manage the waste so they started dumping waste into like a bigger hole and then burnt everything yeah but Japanese government decided to you know stop that in general so they banned the open insulation then they mandated every municipalities like cities or towns to either build up properly ratings or to manage the landfill site or to do recycling so following that direction slowly and comma cuts also had the plan for the recycling Calculon back in 1994 and then started building small Interactive's at the same time started small recycling then but another issue was so when they actually build the too small incident raters to manage your waste again the national regulation change due to high rise of the dioxin issues all over Japan so the National regulation again Monday that that each is there a to have to have certain like filters and technologies to you know stop emitting that sits in the air then the kamikazes in storage it wasn't meeting that foundation so making that they had to close the incinerator just newly built in two three years so then the town had to say you know how do we manage the once now so we had an option to how she asked other cities are all to burn our ways together but of course no one really wants that right Jack said someone else waste then only option we have was to actually transfer all the way to Yamaguchi Prefecture which is in the different Ireland then that of course cost a lot now of course rebuilding like new beans narrator costs a lot as well so they couldn't build that again so they had to think out of the box like you know how can we manage waste instead of actually pruning so they actually decided to quit pruning waste so this is what we are shaded right now so one hundred percent over our organic waste or food waste gets composted at home so we have like several options in our places so either they put their waste directly into the farms so that it can be composted naturally or they use the simple compost on the left to you know make it soil or we can use all this ultra composting machine on the right side it will just you know compost and fertilize your food waste in just few days then you can use it at your golden sort of forints then this one actually cost fifty fifty thousand Japanese year to buy one but after your tongue office the local government subsidized for forty thousand yen to support this because when they actually researched how much waste we are producing for what kind of waste then thirty percent of all this waste were organic so meaning if you can take out then that's quite a lot of waste we can decrease so they compared the amount of actual burning the organic waste the 30 percent versus subsidizing this machine then this was much cheaper then the other waste except organic actually brought into our towns only one recycling collection Center waste collection center called hippie data in koma station so everyone every single one person living in kamikatsu bring here always to this collection center then segregate their waste into 45 categories it's massive yeah and so it looks like this so it bears aligning containers so you drive there right then you pull out your ways from the car then you just put it one by one two different categories um the farthest people who's living from this collection center takes like 40 minutes away by a driving so it's quite far away as well for some of them but we still have backing up system for elders who's not able to drive anymore to have a collection once in two months by us for service academy but other than that everyone brings to this collection center then what's happening is that since we do not bring our composing waste meaning food waste the collection center does not smell bad yeah so if you take out the organic waste then the rest is just a clean waste so you can't restore it longer or even if you're bringing all the ways to the collection center that's how you see the difference then on this is star actually 34 categories of the segregation the like left side we just increase our segregation number 245 this year just three beer is on pole so for the calves we have aluminum cans to you cans and springtails it's three categories for the glass bottles we have three a glass bottle brown glass bottles other colored glass bottles and returnable glass bottles for like soy sauce and sake alcohol it's for today greens for the paper its newspapers cardboard magazines and scrub papers paper containers paper container with the foils paper tubes paper ETOPS lovely right so it's a lot of work yes it's a lot of work but it's very interesting so for some port it's coming let's get me back to this coffee dog so when I go to the convenience store if I want to buy something I will reconsider what I need to do with this to segregate so for example if I buy this right so I need to take out the cap then that's plastic packaging right there I need to wash a straw it's not a packaging in Japanese regulations so meaning I need to wash it but still it goes through the downcycling plastic for the few else it's not get recycled then there's a minimum foil here so I need to peel it off then clean it that's scrap metals then I wash the inside the dots plastic package right then this one I take off the straw and supplies the fuel right down cycling one then you need to peel off this package for the straw because it's plastic packaging then you open it and then wash it and that's a paper container yeah this one that's kind of nice it's just two parts but if you drink a coffee then like you know inside it's kind of dark then you can recycle as bitter as the normal like white cup it's goes through paper cap and this is plastic Caucasian right um then I said I only drink cans only because if I get this it's very easy because I just need to wash it and then that's how many cans yeah so actually what the interesting is that by doing all this we actually impacted the habit of consumption of the people not everyone but whenever they think about like what they need to do after this then that's the time they actually change the habit of what they buy then maybe you think it's crazy but if you actually see the impact of not only the environmental side but also they cannot excite you may follow my choice so in each of the bins we have at the collection center we have this side showing up this is saying how the million cans so you need to put the container visiting from the best album cans but not only that we also have to find where it goes it goes to toxicity and then what it will be so it's get recycled again in German and how much it costs or earns to the community so in 2015 it actually earned 155cm per kilogram to the car by recycling now meaning comes right then it's about overtime but if you actually bring in this concept to our daily life so for some poor if you buy whatever the liquid in a bottle which is a plastic covered in another plastic and then sealed plastic stickers and bring it back in a plastic bag you need only deleted inside but you are paying for all this plastic bottle plastic package in plastic bag and everything then not only that most of our Japanese products also includes the packaging recycling cost under the expanded producer responsibility in the product price so you're also paying for that and to recycle recycle the plastic in our tongue for the expanded producer responsibility regulation its cost 0.45 yen per kilogram so it's cost and then what it means is that if the process cost to do the recycling it means it needs more energy and then it will leave more impact for the environment so again my question is how much I actually spending on whatever you don't even use as I say you just need a liquid but you are also paying for those others then when we actually talk about all this waste management people talk lots about recycling yeah and it's important to talk about how we manage the waste but also when we consider all these products lining up in front of you it's also very important to see that how we can actually reduce and reuse because if you don't produce any way saying we don't need to even do the recycling so that's where the three are concept comes in then it always emphasized that the priority is starting from reducing then reusing the recycling so you better reduce whatever you don't even need to use then if you buy something then better you use it for a long life then you know you just reuse it so you can maximize a product then after you can't use anymore in the final point then that's where the recycle comes in so regarding the reusing so in our town we have this so called cuckoo reuse shop cuckoo means surgery in Japanese so basically we promote to reuse whatever in the community so that we can maximize our resources so for example what I'm wearing inside today it's coming from the reduce shop so I didn't pay anything this is free so basically people in the town can bring in whatever they don't use anymore to the shop for free then flavor if we visiting the town isn't even use if you guys come into our town can take away whatever you want from the shop for free but one rule is that you need to wait what you're bringing or take away they've noted down how much sugar more grams you actually wait so for example I weigh that you know like children of closes I brought in today and now I write it down then I take for example like 110 grams of dishes or the plates then I write it down so throughout the year we also measure that how much waste we prevented to be wasted right sorry for example last year we had 13 tones coming in then out of that 11 tones taken away so it's always 80 to 90% circulation then we have another place called kuru kuru cross center so it's about remaking or upcycling so as you can see I'm wearing this so this is made out from card flag or the fish flag that we use for the Children's Day celebration yeah like this pictured here so we upcycle them because once the child grow up and then they don't use stuff like anymore and that's goes to a waste you know it's still really nice so we can make something out of this that started with the grannies in the local community then they make all this traditional kimonos or you know Japanese traditional closes and flat into new products and they sell it okay regarding the reducing for reducing option is to come from two sides why is from us the consumers and from the producers so these are the pages of our forty five categories of segregation but what we have in the town then these are the pages are actually showing that things we can't recycle meaning it's either goes to the incineration or to landfill so it's saying that for example the leather products specifically new products rubber products and something composed like several materials together so that you can separate them so you can't recycle because only the whole material can be recycle something like this then what we do as a service academy is to advocate this to the producers so they know that what you're making having products yeah but not only that we also work with them to try out what's possible so we also do some research together with them at our collection center what can be done to make the products better or alternate their materials or design the product again but at the same time it needs to be supported by us the consumers to support such products right so here that hip stuff what we can do better so first of all as I mentioned you till I second hand is also a good thing like there are so many tongues and like dozens of like second hand products from Japan exported to other countries even everyday yeah then there's so many like saying that of course you can't use anymore really but there's so many thing that you can really use and in these days the online system really helps you to also be part of this as well you have so many apps right now you can easily sell what you don't use anymore by up just one click and take a picture then you can even buy that from there as well so utilize that support this secondhand maggot so that you don't support this you know rapid consumption rapid production second is by local so meaning that you try to promote the local products instead of like further away transported products it means like if you buy local it's less packaging because if you transfer further and that's the time people putting have so much packaging over and over to protect it or to promote it but if you just know the person of the producers locally but you don't need even heat up right then that's most of the time it's fresh seasonal and then sometimes it's much cheaper then that's how you can also support them um plan chopping so as I mentioned if you go to the shopping mall or the supermarket you have so many choices right then if you not conscious then you can buy whatever but if you're conscious and then you plan ahead of time what you have to need or how much you actually need then you can be a wise conscious consumers so that for example if you know that that's gonna happen that you may not choose this anymore may not or maybe I don't know or if you actually know that in your tongue this is the only option you can recycle that maybe you choose that one as well or you know that you're going to be out of the house for next week then you don't buy as much as you may just jump into the shop and buy everything right so just be a plan and then planning and wise conscience the BYU campaign so I promote it all these kinds but as a daily life I bring this my own bottles right so by bringing this for example last week I was traveling outside of Japan but I say 18 plastic bottles only by bringing this I could refuse all of them you can judge if it's a big number or not but that's what you can do you can do your bring your own bags bring your own bottles bring your own towels anything now if you still want to see the impact on how much you're consuming you can just try it one day tastic free day you go for daya your daily life and then you try not to buy any plastic then you see how much you started by them it's really fun then I know your material so as I mentioned if you know it's aluminum if you know it's a paper and plastic together then like you know what to do with them then you know where it goes you know what where it's coming from then you know how to handle them by doing all this actually my life styles like this so 70% of what I eat only because I'm traveling are coming within the town so I buy local then 80% of what I use at home either made in the town or reused is within the town so I don't really use something from very far away then 90% of what I let go either you can't use it anymore or you want to you know secondhand again then that stays in the town or contributes to the town by making valuable recycling income to the town then I extreme I'm extremely happy about this because I can really see the impact that what I live oh then what kind of impact I'm leaving behind so please show me if you hungry with me on this impactful lifestyle but you can just start with one as I mentioned just bring your own bottle in spine so Happy's are always thank you very much you

11 thoughts on “ZERO WASTE – A way to enrich your life & the society | Akira Sakano | TEDxAPU

  • I like your talk. It was very inspiring. I wish we could invite the speaker to talk here in the Philippines. But in our household, I am already mindful of the things I buy. But I a.m already doing your Nr 1 suggestion. I only buy second hand clothes. Great Job Ma’am.

  • Awesome. How the idea people in Kamikatsu are doing. Categorizing the waste into 45 sorts is challenging. Even though money talks in certain ways of making this idea into practice, I'm wondering if Indonesia would start even to think how important the waste management. Good job Ms. Sakano!

  • One of the best TED talks. So many TED talks have been about the speaker and their brand (book, training or some other agenda etc). This talk was focused on the issue and was very impactful. I'm sad TED has been highjacked recently by self promotors.

  • I agree plastic consumption is out of control here in Japan. When I go to the grocery store I am given little plastic bags to wrap up already packed foods. This I can put a stop to but sometimes when I don't pack my own groceries the sales clerk will wrap it up if I forget to tell them not to. My husband went shopping yesterday and bought Brussels sprouts that are in a sealed plastic bag. The bag was then wrapped in another layer of plastic at the register. I would also like to completely stop using plastic grocery bags but I need them to put my plastic waste in for recycling. I only keep a limited number though, I keep the plastic bags in an empty tissue box and try to use them up before getting more from the grocery store. It feels idiotic to need plastic to recycle plastic in Tokyo.

  • I like your story. I make a lot of electricity. When I move I want to grow a lot of food and have less waste.

  • Great speech. Amazing sustainability concept in practice through a close knit community!! How to spearhead this concept in urbanization environment is yet to be seen. Plus the impact it may have on global economies & international trade. Esp. The expanded enviro. Responsibility overhead tax may hinder local businesses if not met with wise consumption choices.

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