SafeHandFish: Repurposing Portable Soy Sauce Containers for Hand Sanitizer

SafeHandFish is a joint-initiative from two Japanese companies: Cleanse EX, a maker of a natural antibacterial agent, and Ohishiya, who manufactures and refills the ubiquitous fish-shaped portable soy sauce containers. Due to the global pandemic, the later experienced a collapse in demand for their soy sauce containers after almost every event was cancelled. Meanwhile, the former saw an exponential rise in demand for hand sanitizer but lacked the means of distributing it. The partnership, which sees soy sauce replaced with hand sanitizer, is nothing short of genius.

Japan’s ubiquitous portable soy sauce containers | image courtesy ohishiya

If you’ve ever eaten a bento box in Japan, odds are you’re familiar with the miniature soy sauce bottles, which are often shaped like fish. Typically, the caps are red or green but for this project they’ve been changed to blue, a symbol of cleanliness. By replacing the soy sauce with hand sanitizer, the joint initiative, named SafeHandFish, manages to resolve a mismatch between supply and demand.

For now, the fish-shaped hand sanitizers are being provided for free to certain restaurants and caterers like sio, mo:take, potluck and la toil who will include the containers in take-out orders.

1 Comment

  1. Add a drop or two of food coloring in various shades. Use a sharpy to highlight the eyes, gills, and fins. I mean srsly, if ur gonna do something, do it with zeal!

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