Waste disposal has been a growing problem in Japan over the past few years because of lack of landfill space. Municipal regulations allow only pre-sorted garbage for collection at designated times and on designated days.
According to a new study from research company INFOPLAN here, 62% of Japanese could be classified as "aware" of environmental issues and only 3% could be classified as "active."
To reduce the bulk for consumers, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. is introducing domestic garbage disposal units that can either decompose kitchen waste by microbial action or incinerate it using hot air or microwave incineration.
The company is selling 10,000 units monthly of its $1,221 National Kitchen Waste Processor, introduced this April with TV advertising from Hakuhodo.
So far , Matsushita's brand has received only one month's worth of advertising support in March. The poster campaign showed the machine and a bucket of kitchen waste with graphic from which arrows pointed at a packet of goldfish food. To the right of the packet are pictured goldfish, indicating a sort of food chain. The aim is to show processed waste from the machine can be used as feed for goldfish, using a play on words for the word recyclying.
As yet unadvertised are two new disposals, one from Shinyoh Industry for a pricetag of $935, due in July and another from Nestor Corp. coming in November, a domestic garbage disposal unit for $1,240 that uses micro-organisms to decompose garbage in five hours.
Chris Beaumont, INFOPLAN managing director, said, "Over a third of the Japanese surveyed were classified as `indifferent' to environmental issues."But despite the small percentage of environmentally active Japanese, overall concern for the environment is growing.
"The majority of Japanese interviewed said that their concern for the environment today is greater than that of 12 months ago and thought that the condition of the environment will worsen over the next 2-3 years," he said.
INFOPLAN's Japan Insight research study was conducted among 1,450 respondents both in-person and through written questionnaires from Feb. 21-March 30 of this year. The margin of error is plus or minus 0.5%.