In Japan, a country awash with vending machines and convenience stores on every block, bottled water is never hard to come by. But the worrying level of plastic pollution in Japan has led to an urgent need for sustainable alternatives. Now, everyone’s favourite Japanese homeware brand, Muji, is taking a step towards greener living by installing free water dispensers in its shops.
The machines, which Muji has already begun installing, will provide free drinking water, which people can use to refill their water bottles from July 1. On the same day, an app will also be available to download, which you can use to locate the nearest machine and monitor your reduction of CO2 emissions.
Alongside the water machines, Muji will be offering reusable water bottles at ¥190 each. The compact bottles are advertised as lightweight and easy to carry around in a bag, with a capacity of 330ml. If your bottle breaks, you can take it back to a Muji store to be exchanged and recycled. (There's no details yet on whether the exchange will come with a cost.)
The machines only dispense drinking water, but you can easily fix yourself a bottle of chilled tea on the spot using one of Muji’s instant tea sachets. The company has a target of installing 400 machines by the end of this year and has said the water dispensers will not be exclusive to Muji store locations.
Be sure to check our guide to staying safe while you’re out in search of a water dispenser.
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