Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

November 19, 2007


60% of Shoppers Carry Own Shopping Bags, 12% Always Decline Free Plastic Bags

Keywords: Government NGO / Citizen Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

Japan's Ministry of the Environment released on May 30, 2007 the results of two surveys conducted in March, 2007: one survey on "customers' utilization of plastic shopping bags and their awareness of the system for promotion of sorted collection and recycling of containers and packaging" and another survey on "retailers' efforts to reduce the consumption of plastic shopping bags."

The results show that, during the week before the survey, 85.0 percent of the customers received free plastic shopping bags every time they went shopping and only 11.9 percent did not.

Approximately 60 percent of those surveyed have their own shopping bags, showing that the practice of utilizing reusable shopping bags has become popular to some extent. Regarding the issue of charging for plastic shopping bags, 46.4 percent of the respondents agreed with the idea, outnumbering those who opposed it (28.9%). The price they said they wouldn't mind paying for plastic shopping bags varied: Five yen (4 US cents) was the most popular (36.0%), followed by one to two yen (0.8-1.6 US cents) (21.5%) and three to four yen (2.4-3.3 US cents) (10.3%). Those who were aware of the revised Containers and Packaging Recycling Law accounted for 59.8 percent of respondents.

The latter survey of retailers confirmed that about 40 percent of retailers have set numerical targets for reducing the number of plastic shopping bags they distribute. Among specific efforts for reducing plastic bag distribution, the most popular was offering services such as giving customers stamps when they bring their own shopping bags. Only 9.4 percent of retailers were charging for plastic shopping bags.

Posted: 2007/11/19 07:09:53 AM
Japanese version