Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

February 9, 2014


Toyama Establishes Eco-Store System to Promote Eco-Friendly Actions

Keywords: Local government Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

Toyama Prefecture, located in Japan's northern Hokuriku region, established and started operation of a Toyama Eco-Store System on October 20, 2013, to further promote eco-conscious lifestyles among prefectural residents. Retailers that actively work with consumers to promote eco-friendly behavior are registered under the system.

In 2008, Toyama became the first prefecture in Japan to launch a prefecture-wide effort to discontinue the free distribution of plastic shopping bags. With residents' help, the prefecture maintains the highest level of shoppers who bring their own bags to stores, at 94 percent, and the number of stores discontinuing the free distribution of plastic shopping bags has more than doubled since the program's start.

Intended to build on this initiative, the new eco-store system is aimed at not only discontinuing the free distribution of plastic shopping bags, but also registering stores engaged with residents in eco-conscious activities, including the collection of reusable and recyclable materials at stores and moderate temperature setting of air-conditioners. As of October 25, 2013, the number of registered stores counted 511 locations owned by 53 companies.

The prefectural government hopes that the system will gain traction and lead to region-wide efforts to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags and increase resource collection at stores. It has thus expressed its full commitment to helping residents' live eco-conscious lifestyles.