Japanese carry a lot of stuff . Most folks carry between 1-3 bags . Women on an average carry 1-2 bags (some 3 ) . Men carry at least 1 bag.
This is a country where bags are sold extensively . All kinds of bags – leather , cloth , nylon , polyester , faux leather . Yet , in my visits to retail stores I seldom see customers declining the retailer’s plastic bag and taking the product purchased in their own reusable bag . There must be folks who do so . I’ve not witnessed it yet whether in a dept store , convenience store , people buying lunch boxes from stalls or any retail format for that matter.
The Japanese are geniuses at making products that fold up into a compact size . The customers can easily carry a folding bag in one of their bags and use it to carry items purchased . Thereby reducing plastic ( Japan is a HUGE consumer of plastic . More on that in another post ).
Japan has a very high literacy rate + bags are easily available in retail . It’s puzzling why using a reusable bag for purchases is not a widespread if not default behavior .
Until few years ago Japanese men wore suits to work . No exceptions . I suspect that the Wachowski brothers got their inspiration to dress the agents of Matrix in suits after a few rides in the Tokyo metro . Until Cool Biz came along it was unthinkable that a Japanese corporate male employee could turn up at work in any other attire . Cool Biz was almost like legalizing wearing just a shirt and trousers to work. Possibly Japan needs an initiative similar to Cool Biz to make it acceptable / necessary / cool/eco friendly to take a reusable bag to stores and use it to carry products.
They can call it Eco Biz.