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NewsHome > News >

Japan Announces Compulsory Fee on Plastic Shopping Bags

Time:2019-06-11 11:41 Author:Suny Group

The Japanese Environment Ministry proposes to ban free plastic bags at supermarkets and other large stores. The proposal to introduce mandatory charges for plastic bags has received support from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The move is part of efforts to reduce the amount of plastic waste.

According to Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada, the Ministry plans to introduce legislation that will ban distribution of single-use plastic bags for free. Instead it proposes to introduce charges for plastic shopping bags at supermarkets, convenience stores, drugstores and department stores. The retailers will be allowed to charge up to 10 yen per bag. The revenue thus generated will be utilized towards various environmental measures including afforestation and education on marine pollution. The ban will be extended in due course so as to cover small and midsize businesses.

Harada added that the Prime Minister has said that the measure is following the right direction and that he has urged the Ministry to finalize the legislation only after listening to the opinions of people.

Meantime, several large retail outlets including Seiyu, Aeon Co. , Ito-Yokado Co., York Benimaru Co. and Lawson Inc. have already started charging for plastic bags, as part of efforts to reduce plastic bag usage.

Estimates suggest that over 8 million tons of plastic waste flow into oceans every year. Japan is the second largest per capita producer of plastic waste after the U.S.

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