Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

August 8, 2008


Charge for Plastic Shopping Bags Begins Throughout Toyama Prefecture

Keywords: Climate Change Local government Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

In Japan's Toyama Prefecture, with the aim of reducing waste and curbing global warming, major supermarkets, laundries and other stores stopped providing plastic shopping bags free of charge on April 1, 2008. This is the first such prefecture-wide effort in Japan.

At the Toyama Plastic Bag Reduction Council, consisting of members from businesses, consumers, local governments and other parties concerned, the idea of discouraging shoppers from using plastic bags had long been considered. In March 2008, supermarkets, civic organizations and local governments finally reached an agreement regarding the promotion of reducing plastic bag use, and they worked together with other parties to reduce plastic bag use. Supermarkets will charge five yen (about 5 U.S. cents) for a plastic bag.

This "no more plastic bags" and "use your own bag" campaign will, if successful, result in the use of 300 million fewer plastic bags in the prefecture every year, which is a saving of oil equivalent to that used by 4,700 households, a decrease of 3,000 tons of waste and a 18,000-ton reduction in CO2 emissions. The prefecture hopes that such efforts will spread to all of its 1.1 million citizens, and that it will become a major trend for protecting Mother Earth.

Posted: 2008/08/08 11:26:23 AM