The whole "feminists burn their bras" thing is kind of a canard, but now you can do it for real and for an equally good cause. Japanese lingerie manufacturers are collecting bras and recycling them into solid fuel.

It's been pretty successful, too:

Triumph has collected more than 200,000 bras since it began the program in 2009 and turned them into 14 tons of [refuse paper and plastic] fuel. Wacoal has collected more than 179,200 bras and produced 17.9 tons of the fuel.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Apparently Japanese women are powerfully bashful about the task of disposing of worn-out underclothes — which makes more sense when you know that many municipalities in Japan require you to put trash in a transparent bag and leave it at a public pick-up point. Women apparently feel weird about being all "HERE'S MY OLD BRA, WORLD," and who can blame them. 

The bra-recycling program spares them the embarrassment of throwing bras away, plus it recycles them into fuel to make more bras. It's the circle of bras. Ourobraros.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.