It all started with Marc by Marc Jacobs.
I spied their fall catalog in a convenience store in Sapporo and there was a free canvass ecobag. To date it's still the best ecobag I own. It's wonderful for shopping - it's the right size and it has this tiny pocket you can put your keys and other tiny things in.
Anyway, after that initial purchase I've taken to scouring the magazines in convenience store for free bags or what have you. Some are so-so, most are disappointing, and I've only had one really good find.
It's a Zucca tote and even though it's not particularly pretty or interesting it folds up into a neat little pouch so I can always carry it around.
And then today, finally I found the Uniqlo ecobag in the store near the office. I've been looking for this last month and I'm so happy I finally got my hands on it.
It's actually feels like a paper bag which I like, and it fits A4 size paper quite nicely, so I'm thinking of using it to schlepp documents from one office to the other so I don't always have to haul a giant bag. And it has a small pocket too, which is always a good thing. Bags should always have as many pockets as they can accomodate. I really hate rummaging through my bag for my cellphone or my train pass or my hand sanitizer but it's something I always end up doing (and it's also why I'm hating huge bags right now).
Now to be perfectly honest, I think this whole ecobag trend is not particularly effective here in Japan, as far as the reduction of plastic waste is concerned. For one, they are big on over-packaging things - when I buy something from MAC, first they place it into a paper envelope thing, which in turn is placed inside a MAC plastic bag, and if you ask for it, this plastic bag will in turn be placed inside an Isetan paper bag. And when I got the Uniqlo bag, it was placed inside a plastic bag (!), and the clothes I bought together with it were placed in a separate plastic bag. And then when it's raining, they'd have these long disposable plastic sleeves for you to place your umbrellas in to keep them from dripping all over the floor, and when you buy something they put the paper bag inside another plastic bag so it won't get wet. And for crying out loud, we have special plastic bags for the sole purpose of disposing of burnable waste, non-burnable waste, and whatever other type of waste there is. But to be fair, I'm pretty sure all that plastic waste gets recycled.
Anyway, I have done enough procrastination; I am leaving for Nikko in five hours and I haven't started packing yet. Bonus pic:
People can go on and on about how it's not practical blah blah blah but when I look at it I smile so I don't really care.