Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

March 11, 2007


Kobe City, Co-op Cooperate to Reduce Plastic Bag Use

Keywords: Local government Non-manufacturing industry Policy / Systems Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

The Consumer Co-operative Kobe (Co-op Kobe) and Kobe City in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, concluded an agreement on December 27, 2006, to cooperate with each other to reduce plastic bag use. This is part of efforts to reduce and recycle waste in the city in partnership with citizens, businesses and governments, with the aim of making Kobe a fashionable, environment-conscious city. This is the first agreement of its kind in Japan between a business and one of the nation's 15 largest cities, known as ordinance-designated cities.

Since 1978 Co-op Kobe has been promoting a "My Bag" campaign that encourages shoppers to bring their own bags, and in 1995 it started charging five yen (about 4 U.S. cents) for each plastic bag it offers. Furthermore, replacing the current charge collecting method that asks customers who receive plastic bags to voluntarily put the charge in a box at the shop, the store will begin to collect it at check-out counters in June 2007, in line with the nation's Revised Law for Promotion of Sorted Collection and Recycling of Containers and Packaging that will come into effect in April of the same year. In this way, the co-op aims to increase the percentage of shoppers who bring their own shopping bags from the current 72 percent to more than 90 percent. The collected charge will continue to be used for community activities such as environmental preservation.

Kobe City plans to conclude similar agreements with other businesses engaged in reducing plastic bag use in the city, and calls for citizens' understanding and cooperation. By this means, the city aims to attain its object of reducing the volume of plastic bag waste by 25 percent by fiscal 2015 as stipulated in the city's master plan on general waste disposal.

- Local Gov't, Supermarket Agree on Plastic Bag Reduction (Related JFS article)

Posted: 2007/03/11 11:45:39 PM
Japanese version