Japan Retailers Bracing for Ban on Free Plastic Bags

Politics

Tokyo, June 5 (Jiji Press)--Japanese retailers are speeding up their preparations for the planned introduction next year of a ban on the free provision of plastic shopping bags.

"It's quite short notice," an official of a major drug store chain admitted, after the Environment Ministry unveiled earlier this week its intention to impose the ban by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Still, many retailers calmly accepted the move, saying that starting to charge customers for plastic shopping bags was already viewed as established policy at a time when the government is increasing efforts to reduce the amount of plastic waste.

The focus is now on whether small retailers will be excluded from the ban.

Among retailers, convenience stores have been the biggest providers of free plastic bags, as their customers tend not to bring their own bags with them.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press