It’s 2020 and the planet needs your help. So does Japan, which ranked as the most affected country by climate change in 2018, according to the most recent Global Climate Risk Index report. Japan is making strides to address climate change. The government kicked off its SDG Future Cities project in the past couple of years, and last summer the island of Iki in Nagasaki Prefecture became the first municipality in Japan to declare a climate emergency. Activism is also on the rise after 5,000 people joined climate strikes nationwide in September, but when looking at the numbers in other countries, Japan’s pale by comparison. For a country that prides itself on recycling, its contribution to global plastic waste is enormous. Japan is the second-highest producer of plastic packaging per capita after the United States. As we head into a new year and a new decade, it’s time to think about what we can do to help. Japan offers a lot of opportunities for individuals to do their part — no matter how small — but sometimes it can be a little difficult to decode the systems in place. Japan has 3 million vending machines nationwide, making it more convenient to keep buying plastic bottles than...