Green Okinawa (2) Recycle your milk and juice cartons as well as your polystyrene or plastic food packaging at supermarkets

Dear OISTers,

Thank you for your comments on the first ‘Green Okinawa’ post from the OIST Resource Center! Your suggestions on how to be environmentally friendly in Okinawa and information about green initiatives on the island will help us develop more Green Okinawa recommendations. Your comments can be viewed here:

Here's another tip from us.

Recycle your milk and juice cartons as well as your polystyrene or plastic food packaging at supermarkets (1)

 At home, rinse them and let them dry. Cut open the cartons so they can lie flat. Pop them in your shopping bag and take them with you when you go to the supermarket. Most supermarket chains have recycling bins at the main entrance.  There is normally one recycling bin for milk and juice cartons and another recycling bin for polystyrene and plastic ‘food trays’. Try to avoid buying cartons with an aluminum layer on the inside as they cannot be recycled.

 Since you are going shopping, take your reusable shopping bags and insulated bags with you. There is a global effort to avoid single-use plastic shopping bags and more grocery stores are charging for a bag. Keep some reusable shopping bags in your backpack, car, office, gym kit or close to your front door, so that you always have them handy.

Where can I recycle my milk, juice cartons and food trays?

AEON, CO-OP, Marudai, Kanehide San A, and Tabata.

What do I have to do?

Rinse and dry your food trays. Put them in the food tray recycling bin at the supermarket. Rinse, dry and cut open your milk and juice cartons. Put them in the milk carton recycling bin at the supermarket.

What can’t be recycled?

Soy milk cartons and cream cartons with an aluminum layer on the inside.

What do they become?

Polystyrene food trays are reborn as food trays! The wood pulp extracted from the milk cartons is turned into tissues and toilet paper. ‘Showa seishi’ is an Okinawan company that makes household products using recycled paper and milk cartons (2). Look out for their COREROLL toilet paper available in San A.  


OISTers, let us know where you find Showa seishi products. Are there other products you buy which are made from recycled materials? Please share your knowledge with us so that we can include it in the Green Okinawa guide that the Resource Center is developing. Thanks!

(1)Committee for Milk Container Environmental Issues

(2)Showa seishi  

(3)Image credit 

 This Green Okinawa post was developed in collaboration between Yoshimasa Nakamura (OIST Resource Center) and Kate Whitfield

Read previous Green Okinawa tips here

Green Okinawa 1, air drying laundry and energy-saving ways to use your clothes dryer

Tips/comments shared by the OIST community members


Name: Anonymous

    Nice posts about the Green Okinawa !! I'm curious to read more tips.

    Can I request a subject??

    It's unclear to me how to recylce/donate small electrical stuff, like cables and such. Unlike my hometown in Europe, I cannot find any collection boxes at supermarkets and shops, or people that like to collect them to get valuable stuff out of them.

    I DO hear a truck driving around our neigherhood and out off the speaker comes " ..... terebi, eacon, computar...." so I'm guessing it's collecting electronics. But does it also want small stuff like cables??

    And what are you supposed to do, walk up to that car? Is it for free? Also I don't know when that car will be back.

    Anyways....I think that will make an interesting post! :D about old batteries? I know OIST collects them somewhere, but there must be a way to get rid off them outside OIST right?

    Thanks a lot!


    Name: Anonymous

    Most supermarkets don't collect the plastic trays that are used for packing fruits(like the one in the pic below) in their recycle bins. But Kanehide collects them in their recycle bins!


    Name: Anonymous

    "Are there other products you buy which are made from recycled materials?"
    I buy Kind Bag for mybag that is made from recycled plastic bottles.
    I found this bag in SanA Ishikawa City but since it is a bit pricy, they may
    not be selling well.
    "Where can I recycle my milk juice cartons and food trays?"
    Could we request SanA Ishikawa city to accept more recyclable materials? They
    only accept milk cartons, food trays but not cans and plastic bottles. on the
    contrary, Ishikawa Maxvalue has collection box for everything.