Paper, Plastic, or Furoshiki?

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Introduction: Paper, Plastic, or Furoshiki?

Plastic bags are being banned almost everywhere now, due to petroleum costs and landfill issues. Los Angeles just announced a ban on ALL disposable shopping bags... both paper and plastic. The Minister of Ecology in Japan is making an effort to spread the Japanese art of Furoshiki, which is an Origami-like means of carrying virtually anything with a simple square of thin cloth, is easy to do, and has been used by the Japanese for centuries. See for yourself! Watch an Introductory Video

Step 1: The Basic Bag

This is the simplest of means, which shows how you can carry a bag of various groceries.

Step 2: The Shoulder Carry

This is a variation of the basic bag that allows the same amount of groceries to be carried over a shoulder... a more ergonomic approach that utilizes your muscles in a healthier manner.

Step 3: The Melon Carry

This is a tremendously amazing demonstration of how distribution of a heavy weight can allow a very thin silk cloth to hold something like a watermelon. The video shows me demonstrating this technique with a 16 lb bowling ball...

Step 4: Decorative Furoshiki

One of the coolest aspects of Furoshiki is that it's not only functional, but decorative as well. You can wrap all sorts of gifts in unique ways that will impress people... and the "gift wrap" can be reused. Imagine never having to buy wrapping paper again, or the unique look of your gifts under the Christmas tree. You're only limited by your imagination.

Here's a great example of how you can wrap a pair of wine bottles. It looks amazing AND it protects the glass from breaking.

Step 5: Go for It!

I admit, i was a bit hesitant about trying this out at the supermarket, but what happened was quite amazing. Many people asked me about it and thought it was great! It's definitely more interesting than the bulky canvas bags that stores sell.

Again, I invite you to watch the video if you'd care to see it in action:

Watch an Introductory Video

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68 Comments

That's pretty good for economic gift wrap. Thanks! Google Bagtheban if you like the plastic bags and find them useful for many things. I save all mine, and I recycle them, mainly by filling them with plastic recyclables and turning them in at the town center.

That graphic in the second step of Entou Tsutsumi looks familiar. O_o

Not to sound offensive, I could not pronounce Furshiki.
But they do look cool!!!!

Check out: furoshiki.com & click on "techniques". Brilliant!

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The big green diagram! Is it a furoshiki ?
If so, where can they be purchased ?

I've been wanting to do this for YEARS, I've been reading all the furoshki sites but couldn't imagine making everyone wait while I wrapped my purchases. NOW someone suggests PRACTICE!!! I don't know why that strikes me as a new concept.

I don't think it would work for a weeks worth of groceries at walmart with those round turntables to hold bags but it would work for a few items.

If you use the watermelon carry wrap, make sure that the object is big enough for it. If you don't there will be a huge gaping hole that the object will fall out of.

A watermelon sold here for 5 bucks is about 50 bucks in Japan. I know , only, because my buddy (german American) moved there after college and has lived there ever since. He has adult children he has been there that long. When he woud come to our home I would feed his kids to watch their eyes buldgeCantelopes followed by water melon followed by icecream. We were talking about cost of things. a watermelon about 15 years ago that cost me 5 bucks was easily 45-50 bucks. A gallon of milk cost more then a gallon of gasoline (at the time). His wife would not trust anything that expensive to a thin silk cloth. She brough bags with her if they needed them, he has 6 kids, I told him he was insane. please give a link to a place where we can see the thing better, copy it for reference. thanks for an intresting tutorial

finally! a use for the many bandanas i have lying around doing nothing!

 you'll need a pretty big bandana.