Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

October 14, 2007


Seiyu Refunds 2 Yen to Shoppers Using their Own Bag

Keywords: Chemicals Climate Change Energy Conservation Non-manufacturing industry Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

Seiyu Ltd, a major Japanese supermarket operator, launched a campaign in March 2007 to encourage customers to bring their own shopping bags by refunding 2 yen (about 2 US cents) to shoppers who use their own bag rather than a disposable bag provided by the store. This project, called the "Hummingbird Campaign" is being carried out in collaboration with the Sloth Club, a Japanese non-governmental organization (NGO).

Plastic bag consumption by Seiyu stores has so far averaged about 6 hundred million bags per year. Seiyu appeals to customers by pointing out that the oil needed produce this many bags would be sufficient to drive a hybrid car from the earth to the moon, and so using fewer bags will help save resources. While the proportion of shoppers who bring their own bags was 6 percent before the campaign started, it increased to 26 percent by June, 2007.

At the same time they launched the 2-yen campaign, Seiyu supermarkets also began selling a variety of reusable polyethylene shopping bags. One of them has a hummingbird design by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, an artist and a member of a Native Canadian tribe, the Haida Nation.

When the reusable bag wears out, the supermarket will exchange it for a new one at no charge and recycle the old one. The store also donates the profit made after deducting the cost of making the reusable bags, about 4 US cents per bag, to environmental organizations.

Posted: 2007/10/14 04:58:23 PM
Japanese version