Japan Pushes for Less Plastic, Despite Biz Concerns

Economy

Tokyo, March 13 (Jiji Press)--As Japan moves to reduce the use of plastic at convenience stores and restaurants, some concerns remain in the industries of the impact of such efforts on business.

Earlier this week, the Japanese government adopted at a cabinet meeting a bill on encouraging businesses to reduce and recycle plastic waste.

Major convenience stores and restaurant chains have already been reducing plastic utensils such as spoons and straws, with some switching to the use of plant-based alternatives.

Meanwhile, some plastic goods are still being distributed for free at stores, and the operators are wary of the possibility that the government may make stores charge customers for such goods through ministerial ordinances once the plastic recycling bill is enacted by the Diet, Japan's parliament.

In May 2019, convenience store chain Lawson Inc. <2651> changed the containers of its iced coffee products from plastic to paper ones. Industry rivals Seven-Eleven Japan Co. and FamilyMart Co. changed the lids of their iced coffee products to those that do not require the use of straws in August 2019 and March 2020, respectively.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press