Bra-Burning in Japan

Bras wear out, and Japanese women are reluctant to toss them into clear plastic bags that are deposited in the trash. Neighbors might see them when the garbage is collected. Guys with unsavory tastes might rifle the bags and do unspeakable things with them.

Disposing of the bras poses a major dilemma. Fortunately, two intimate apparel manufacturers, Triumph International and Wacoal, have an environmentally sensible solution: collect the bras and turn them into industrial fuel.

The companies extract any metal and what remains is made into RPF (refuse paper and plastic fuel). The waste material burns about as efficiently as coal but produces less carbon dioxide and costs much less to produce.

Japan Times reports:

Triumph has collected more than 200,000 bras since it began recycling activities in 2009 and turned them into 14 tons of RPF fuel. Wacoal, meanwhile, said it has collected more than 179,200 bras and produced 17.9 tons of the fuel.

Other undergarment manufacturers are coming on board as well. Japan Times cites Patagonia Inc., which takes back its own cotton and polyster t-shirts and recycles them into new clothing. Another company, Rovex, offers a 500 coupon for its used underwear.

In the face of mounds of discarded undergarments, these are small steps forward, but they are in the direction of better use of recyclable materials.

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Photo from How can I recycle this via Flickr Creative Commons


Laura Saxon
.4 years ago

They should burn everything and not litter.

Spirit Spider
Spirit Spider4 years ago

Wow-well done!

Natasha Salgado
Past Member 4 years ago

Interesting idea!!! It must have been a huge bonfire...thanks

Christina B.
Christina B6 years ago

I found the first paragraph of this article to be VERY weird.

Bra recycling is also done in Greece, by the Italy-based lingerie company "Intimmissimi". It's a good idea.

Don Go
Don Go6 years ago

Bras carry the hope of the world, one way or another it seems. XD

Gale Thomasson
Gale T6 years ago

Great idea for a country with a lot of waste I hope they do it with more then their bras.

june t.
reft h6 years ago

interesting idea

Alex H.
Alex H6 years ago

I would have thought that a better idea for burning bras was because it is a very closely guarded fact that these garments can contribute to breast lumps and tumours,due to their blocking of lymph drainage channels throught the breast tissue!!!It is also a closely hidden fact that the American Cancer Society is heavily "in bed"not only with the mammography industry but also with the lingerie manufacturers,big donors to "breast cancer endless research that supposedly never finds anything"!!!It is time to stop donating to these scams!!!

Marie W.
Marie W6 years ago

Better recycling than dumping.

leonard. H.
Len Harrison6 years ago

Lol - Right on -