Water Safety in Japan: Insights from the Tokyo Blue Earth Project
In celebration of World Water Day, Water& partnered with Motoko Akiyama 秋山素子, a
youth environmental activist based in Japan to conduct the Tokyo Blue Earth Project. In March, Motoko surveyed the public in Tokyo to gauge awareness and engagement regarding marine plastic pollution, plastic waste reduction, and the perception of water safety in Japan. The survey collected responses from diverse age groups, genders, and backgrounds, offering
valuable insights into the water-related practices and concerns of the Japanese population.
Understanding the Participants
The survey had a significant female representation, with 73.81% of respondents identifying as
female, and 26.19% as male. The age groups varied, with the majority of participants falling into the 11-19 and more than or equal to 50 age brackets. This diversity in age and gender ensured a well-rounded representation of opinions and perspectives.
Marine Plastic Pollution Awareness and Actions
The Tokyo Blue Earth Project shed light on the level of public interest in marine plastic
pollution. The survey revealed that over 90% of respondents were interested in the issue;
however, only 33% are actively taking action, such as using reusable water bottles, adopting
eco-friendly products, and avoiding plastic cutlery.
Knowledge of Marine Plastic Pollution
Survey participants exhibited a commendable understanding of marine plastic pollution.
Overwhelmingly, respondents recognized that marine plastic affects sea creatures, leading to
choking and starvation (80 respondents), and poses risks to human health due to microplastic ingestion through fish consumption (51 respondents). Moreover, people were aware of how marine plastic pollution threatens ocean water quality (63 respondents) and human lives and industries, including tourism (46 respondents).
Plastic Consumption and Water Bottle Use
Regarding plastic consumption, the survey focused on water bottles. It was encouraging to find that a significant portion of respondents (51%) rarely or never bought bottled water. However, 26 participants (31%) indicated buying bottled water three days a week, reflecting room for improvement in reducing single-use plastic.
Water Safety Perception
The survey investigated the perception of water safety in Japan, with 57% of respondents
expressing confidence in the safety of their water supply. Another 31% believed water safety
was assured to a certain extent. However, it is important to note the concerns of the 4% who
reported feeling unsafe about Japan's water quality.
Filtering Tap Water and Consumption Habits
Approximately 52.38% of respondents indicated utilizing water filters to enhance the safety and quality of their tap water. This demonstrates an awareness of potential water contaminants and a proactive approach to mitigate risks. The majority (73%) also confirmed their preference for drinking tap water at home, emphasizing trust in the nation's water infrastructure.
Call to Action
Although many respondents expressed interest in reducing plastic waste, a large proportion felt uncertain about taking action. Water& encourages and supports individuals in translating their concerns into tangible actions. From small-scale changes, such as reducing single-use plastics to advocating for societal-level sustainable practices, Water& advocates for a greener future where the integrity of water is protected for all.
The Tokyo Blue Earth Project survey has provided valuable insights into water safety, plastic
waste reduction efforts, and marine plastic pollution awareness in Japan. While the majority of respondents demonstrated a positive inclination towards sustainable practices, there is still
room for collective efforts to address water safety concerns and curb plastic consumption
further. By leveraging these survey findings, Motoko and Water& aim to catalyze a positive
change, encouraging a united effort towards a more sustainable and water-safe future for