This new umbrella sharing service in Tokyo offers umbrellas made from Ziploc bags

The Ziploc Recycle Program uses umbrellas made from recycled Ziploc products to promote sustainability

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada

It seems Japan has finally caught on to its zealous over-use of plastics – stores around the country even started charging for plastic bags at the start of summer. Not to be outdone, Ziploc, the ubiquitous brand of reusable plastic bags and boxes for kitchen storage, has launched the new Ziploc Recycle Program.

The initiative is led by Asahi Kasei Home Products (the company behind Ziploc in Japan) along with Terracycle Japan, Nature Innovation Group and Beams Japan. For starters, the programme is setting up a shared umbrella service using umbrellas made from recycled Ziploc plastic products.

Terracycle Japan is handling the collection and recycling of the plastic, which will then be turned into reusable umbrellas designed by the fashion savvy folks at Beams Japan. For more details on how to contribute and recycle your unwanted Ziploc items, visit Terracycle’s official website.

Ziploc umbrella
Photo: Nature Innovation Group

The umbrella sharing service will be available as part of the
iKasa network of shared umbrella stands. It will begin operations from mid-September on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line between Ikebukuro Station and Hanno Station. Special umbrella stands will be set up at stations along the line.

To use the service, you’ll need to download the iKasa app and create an account. Borrowing an umbrella starts at ¥70 for 24 hours, and you can simply return it to any of the umbrella stands when you’re done. If all goes well, the programme is aiming to expand nationwide to major cities across Japan. 

In the meantime, learn these simple phrases on how to politely say no to plastics in Japan. And don’t forget to check our guide on staying safe while you’re out in Tokyo.

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