In Japan, it is typical and customary to use a lot of packaging (which is a topic for a future blog entry) in gifts, foods, goods, etc. If you are an environmentalist, it will drive you crazy with all the wasteful packaging material used. Do remember that Japan is a high consumer economy (so not sure if Reduce is practiced in the 3Rs).
The good news (albeit confusing for most foreigners) is that all trash is sorted and separated into multiple containers so they can be reused, recycled or burned. You will not find any garbage or trash cans anywhere, instead you will find recycling containers in the workplace common areas (not at your desk), on the streets, and in the homes as the Japanese people always sort their trash.
Below is a picture of the garbage room in our apartment building. Don’t ask me if I have figured out which bin, shelve or basket to use for which garbage type. Typically, garbage is separated into Combustibles (burnable), Non-combustibles (unburnable) and Recycleable (ie. PET bottles, which is used a lot in Japan). Confused?
This blog post is really garbage 😛