Stores Around Japan Will Start Charging for Plastic Bags Starting July 1st
・Plastic bags at least 50 microns thick, which are reusable and can promote a reduction in plastics use.
・Plastic bags made from 100% marine-degradable bioplastic, which can be decomposed by microorganisms in the ocean.
・Plastic bags made from at least 25% biomass, which doesn't increase carbon dioxide emissions.
(Also excluded are the thin, handle-less plastic bags used to contain produce!)
- Image Source: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Of the many possible solutions suggested during these discussions, a couple felt especially familiar, as a writer from Taiwan.
「Convenience stores will also start doing paid bags on July 1st. When we get food heated at the store we'll all just have to carry it out holding the very edge and going "hothothothothot," I suppose?
In Taiwan they already charge for plastic bags at convenience stores, but if you get heated food they'll put it in one of these mysterious net things for free. I really hope they'll start doing the same thing in Japan.」
「These two things were brought by guests from Taiwan, and I'm usually not the type of person who starts random conversations, but I thought "now those look so handy~!" and I started talking to them. I kept thinking "neeeeed!" so I really want Japan to start using them!! Starbucks, please! Convenience stores, please!」
For now, many convenience stores and supermarkets have announced that they'll be selling bags for around 3 to 5 yen depending on the size. Some have even started using the system in advance! So if you're in Japan, or planning to visit, remember to bring a reusable shopping bag along. (Good for your wallet and the environment!) Or pick up a new shopping bag while you're hereーit might just make the perfect souvenir.
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- Editor L
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