Plastic is a very convenient material. It is easy to mold, light and durable, and has a high degree of airtightness. The material also affects almost every domain of our lives, such as reducing the weight—and cost of shipping—of products we use, limiting food loss, providing treatment via sanitized and disposable medical equipment, and so on.

On the other hand, there are clearly issues with plastic despite the conveniences it provides. Chief among them is the fact that the polymer is hardly biodegradable and a major source of marine pollution. It may even be poisoning the population to some degree.

Sure enough, it's becoming increasingly clear that humanity needs to curb its use or at least find a suitable alternative. According to NHK, "Japan wastes the second-largest amount of plastic containers and plastic packaging per person in the world." In response to this statistic, a majority of retailers have been charging for plastic shopping bags over recent years. Furthermore, eco-bags are being promoted by manufacturers as they become a must-have for consumers across the country.

Totoro eco bags

The Japan Post Online Store in Japan began selling eco bags and eco pouches incorporating designs from the famous Studio Ghibli move, My Neighbor Totoro, from June of this year. The Post Office has several products available that are intended to be used for various purposes such as shopping, camping, picnicking, and so on.

Large Totoro Marche Eco Bag (1,980 JPY)

This Marche brand bag can hold about 10 liters of items. It is safe even for large shopping trips, and it comes with a drawstring to help contain contents. Finally, the bag contains a folding pocket so the bag can be folded compactly. Online store link.

Other sizes are also available:

Medium Totoro Lunch Eco Bag (1,650 JPY)

An eco bag with a wide bottom perfect for containing lunches. The bag can hold lunch boxes that are up to 26 cm wide x 16 cm long without tilting. Similar to the Marche eco bag, it has a drawstring that prevents items from protruding as well as a small foldable pocket. Online store link.

Small Totoro Okuchi Pouch (1,320 JPY)

A pouch shaped like a small Totoro with a convenient carabiner and a large window opening for displaying contents. The pouch can be attached to various things such as belt loops and bags using the carabiner. Online store link.

Kororin netsuke with large and small Totoro (880 JPY)

This small Totoro-shaped chime has a gentle tone. Its design features both small and large Totoro. Moreover, its cool blue string makes it a perfect accessory or attachment to the other eco bags and pouches in the product line. Online store link.

Another must-have eco bag

Eco bag with uneven dyeing (1,980 JPY)

Another trendy eco bag hit shelves recently, this time an offer from TAKEYARI The bold and large design goes well with its simple summer style. Even on days when the sun is shining, it creates a cool atmosphere. It can also be used as a substitute for a handbag. The calm color is also unisex and an excellent choice for any shopper.

By - Luke Mahoney.