Prevent ocean pollution!
Japanese retail store plastic bags must be charged from July
Zhongxin.com, July 1st. According to Kyodo News, the Japanese government requires retail stores such as supermarkets and convenience stores across the country to charge for plastic bags, which will be implemented on July 1. The move aims to prevent plastic waste from flowing into the ocean and causing marine pollution.
The charge object is a plastic shopping bag with a carrying place for putting in the goods. Thick reusable bags and environmentally friendly bags are not objects. It was pointed out that the charges were only for plastic bags that allegedly accounted for a few percentage points in plastic waste. To reduce all plastic waste, further countermeasures are needed.
Some convenience stores in Japan will sell plastic bags for 3 to 5 yen (approximately RMB 0.2 to 0.3 yuan) each from July 1. In the catering industry, some chain stores continue to distribute takeaway bags that use environmentally friendly materials free of charge. For department stores, some department stores have abolished plastic bags for food and replaced them with paid paper bags.
On the other hand, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) summarized that plastic bag alternatives have major drawbacks in global warming and other aspects. This may have an impact on Japanese initiatives. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, customers may also choose to pay for plastic bags for health reasons rather than bring their own shopping bags.
There are opinions that the practice of bringing your own shopping bags will be more common, but the catering industry has shown a trend of using bags that are not subject to charges to continue to be distributed free of charge during takeout, and the problem of reducing plastic waste still exists .