Many Convenience Store Customers in Japan Shun Paid Bags

Economy

Tokyo, Aug. 5 (Jiji Press)--Over 70 pct of shoppers at outlets of three major Japanese convenience store operators declined to receive paid plastic shopping bags in July, according to data from the companies.

Since July 1, all retailers across the country have been obliged to charge for disposable plastic shopping bags, which were previously distributed free of charge, as part of efforts to reduce plastic waste.

The convenience store industry in Japan has set a target of increasing the proportion of customers not receiving paid bags to at least 60 pct by fiscal 2030. The proportion topped the target in the just one month after the mandatory program was introduced, thanks partly to growing public awareness about environmental protection, pundits said.

For the whole of July, the share of such customers came to 75 pct at Seven-Eleven Japan Co. and 77 pct at FamilyMart Co. <8028>. The proportion stood at 76 pct at Lawson Inc. <2651> for the period from July 1 to 25.

The results marked a stark contrast to figures of around 25 pct seen through fiscal 2019, which ended in March this year, according to the Japan Franchise Association. Many customers now carry away products they purchased without using shopping bags or bring their own bags, officials of the association said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press