It’s impossible to go around Tokyo without seeing the ubiquitous vending machines, most of which dispense plastic-bottled drinks. In fact, around 64 million single-use plastic containers, also known as PET bottles, are discarded every day in the country.
Well, what if you’re out and about on a hot day? Just download MyMizu – 'mizu' means 'water' in Japanese – the newest app that will help you avoid purchasing and using these convenient plastic bottles. Available in English, the app features a user-friendly map listing free water spots from drinking fountains to restaurants offering free refills. So all you need is to bring along your own reusable water bottle.
Users are also able to register the free drinking spots they stumble upon. In addition to the water spots, the map also features eco-friendly restaurants and cafés. The app covers not just Tokyo but all of Japan, meaning Rugby World Cup fans can grab free refills in the eleven other host cities besides Tokyo. MyMizu is the brainchild of Social Innovation Japan, an English-friendly non-profit organisation championing social change for the better.
The beta version of MyMizu, currently only available on the iPhone, was launched in time with the United Nations Climate Action Summit and Global Climate Strike, when citizens around the world fought against the ever-growing problem of climate change. Single-use plastic consumption, using a plastic product once then discarding it, is a big issue contributing to global warming and ocean pollution. MyMizu aims to decrease the amount of PET bottles used in plastic-heavy Japan by encouraging an eco-friendly way to stay hydrated. So free refills for all!