Japan Panel Begins Talks on Charging for Plastic Shopping Bags

Politics Society

Tokyo, Sept. 26 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese industry and environment ministries on Thursday held the first meeting of a joint commission to discuss details of a planned policy requiring stores to charge customers for plastic shopping bags.

At the meeting, members of the commission agreed to a government proposal for retailers of "every industry," including supermarkets and convenience stores, to be required to charge for plastic bag use. They also affirmed that the price of plastic bags and how to use related revenue will be left up to the discretion of each business.

Still, the government faced calls for reviewing its plan to put the new rule into effect on April 1, 2020, with some saying it would take time for retailers to respond to the change and for consumers to understand it.

The two ministries aim to flesh out the new system in November and revise their ordinances related to the law on recycling containers and wrapping materials by the end of the year to put it into practice.

The policy, designed to reduce plastic waste that causes marine pollution, is a key item in the government's resources recycling policy compiled in May. The move is also intended to demonstrate Japan's efforts to create an environmentally conscious society to the world at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press