Understanding "Mottainai": Embracing the Concept of "What a Waste!"

勿体無い - "Mottainai is a Japanese term rooted in the concept of not wasting resources. Its literal translation, "What a waste!" captures the full depth of its meaning. Derived from the words "mottai" (too good to waste) and "nai" (not), "mottainai" embodies a spirit of reverence, gratitude, and regret for squandering valuable resources.

With that spirit, Mottainai Food Tech has taken on the mantle to transform food processing by-products into new value-added ones.

Different kinds of tea bags on a white background

A Respect for Resources

At its core, "mottainai" encourages individuals to cultivate an attitude of respect and appreciation for resources, whether tangible or intangible. It encompasses not only physical objects but also time, energy, knowledge, and even relationships. By valuing these resources and recognizing their finite nature, we are inspired to make conscious choices that minimize waste.

Key Concepts of Mottainai


The traditional art of repairing broken pottery with seams of gold.

Ugly Food

Fresh produce that is not suitable for sale but otherwise perfectly edible, can be used in a bid to reduce waste.

Food Packaging

Washi paper packaging can be reused to wrap gifts or cover a notebook.


Leftovers from restaurants at the end of the day may be repackaged and sold at a lower price, netting profits yet reducing waste.

Remember, "Mottainai" is not just a word but a philosophy that encourages us to rethink our relationship with the world around us. Let's join hands and say, "What a waste!" to wastefulness itself, and instead, pave the way for a more conscientious and sustainable future.