[2020/7/1] Start of the system of charging for plastic shopping bags

2020-06-24 LIFE
Living in JAPAN JOBS
Living in JAPAN JOBS

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Until now in Japan, plastic shopping bags for taking back products that you have purchased have been provided free of charge. However, from July 1, 2020, as an approach aimed at protecting the global environment, we shall see the start of a system of charging for plastic shopping bags. On this occasion, I would like to explain this system of charging for plastic shopping bags.

What is the system of charging for plastic shopping bags?

Free plastic shopping bags are very convenient as they allow you to go shopping freely anytime you like. However, with the move toward measures for tackling the problem of plastic garbage in the ocean, and global warming, suppressing their excessive use has become a hot topic. With the system of charging for plastic shopping bags, the purpose is to act as a trigger for reviewing our lifestyle practices, such as considering “Do I really need that bag?”, or using a bag you have brought from home.
https://www.meti.go.jp/policy/recycle/plasticbag/plasticbag_top.html

What bags are covered?

“Plastic shopping bags with a handle are used for carrying purchased products” will be covered by this system.

What bags are not covered?

  • (Materials/shape) Paper bags or cloth bags, bags without a handle
  • (Where the products are not) Bags in which sample items or free gifts are included
  • Bags in which the bag itself is part of the product, such as grab bags
  • Bags covered by different laws, such as bags for duty-free items
  • Bags where its environmental performance is recognized and this is indicated on the display.
    Reusable “thickness (50 micrometers or more) bags”
    “Bags that contain 100% marine biodegradable plastic” that can be broken down in the ocean
    “Items with a 25% or greater share of biomass materials” that contribute to global warming measures

However, as the purpose of the system is to suppress the excessive use of plastic shopping bags, there seems to be a major trend among operators to charge for bags that would normally be excluded from the system for charging for bags.

Comparison of current response

The set price for shopping bags and the usage situation is set independently by each operator, so the price set by each company differs. Additionally, some operators who were not previously distributing shopping bags free of charge have started a system of charging for shopping bags in advance. Note that even within the same chain, the response differs depending on the store.

Convenience stores

Seven-Eleven

Small/medium/large and bags for lunch boxes: 3 yen/bag (exclusive of tax)
Extra-large: 5 yen/bag (exclusive of tax)
https://www.sej.co.jp/company/news_release/news/2020/2020060410.html

Lawson

S/L bags and bags for lunch boxes: 3 yen/bags (tax included)
https://www.lawson.co.jp/company/activity/whew_kindness/

Family Mart

Small/middle/large bags and bags for lunch boxes: 3 yen/bag (tax included)
https://www.family.co.jp/services/other/2006_plasticbag.html

Supermarkets

AEON

Plastic bags for miscellaneous use M: 2 yen (exclusive of tax)
Plastic bags for food L: 3 yen (exclusive of tax)
Plastic bags for clothing/plastic bags for clothing or miscellaneous use LL: 5 yen (exclusive of tax)
Handbag-type plastic bags for miscellaneous use LL/extra-large: 5 yen (exclusive of tax)
All types of paper bag: 10 yen (exclusive of tax)
https://chirashi.otoku.aeonsquare.net/pc/chirashi/shoppingbag/

Ito-Yokado

[Clothing/Home Goods]
Plastic bags S/M/plastic bags for clothing S/M: 3 yen (tax included)
Plastic bags L-LL/ plastic bags for clothing L-LL: 5 yen (tax included)
Paper bags SS-L: 10 yen (tax included)
[Food products]
Plastic bag M/ flat bottomed bag – Small: 3 yen (tax included)
Plastic bag L/ flat bottomed bag – Large: 5 yen (tax included)
https://www.itoyokado.co.jp/special/shoppingbag/

100yen shops

Daiso

[Daiso]
S: 2 yen (exclusive of tax)
M: 4 yen (exclusive of tax)
L: 7 yen (exclusive of tax)
[300 yen shop]
S: 5 yen (exclusive of tax)
M: 8 yen (exclusive of tax)
L: 15 yen (exclusive of tax)
LL: 25 yen (exclusive of tax)
https://www.daiso-sangyo.co.jp/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/47febc92d95e9278bd32ba3da1dbe14a-1.pdf

Seria

Small: 3 yen (exclusive of tax)
Large: 5 yen (exclusive of tax)
https://www.seria-group.com/emergency/004016.html

Can Do

S: 2 yen (unclear)
M: 4 yen (unclear)
L: 7 yen (unclear)
https://www.cando-web.co.jp/info/c58b30f1fcef53a9bac258188aa94156.pdf

Drug stores

Tsuruha Drug

S/M: 2 yen (tax included)
L/LL: 4 yen (tax included)
XL: 9 yen (tax included)
https://www.tsuruha.co.jp/service/mybag/

Welcia

Medium size: 2 yen (tax included)
Extra-large size: 5 yen (tax included)
http://www.welcia.co.jp/ja/news/csr20200401/main/0/link/News200401rejibukuro.pdf

Cocokara fine

No. 30: 3 yen (unclear)
No. 60: 5 yen (unclear)
Extra-large: 10 yen (unclear)
https://www.cocokarafine.co.jp/images/pdf/20200303/20200303_PR01.pdf

Eatery chains

As most eatery chains, including fast food chains, have switched over to shopping bags containing biomass materials or paper bags, many operators shall continue to provide bags free of charge.

Eatery chains that will continue to distribute bags free of charge

  • McDonald’s
  • MOS Burger
  • Yoshinoya
  • Sukiya
  • Matsuya
  • Gyoza Ohsho

Others

UNIQLO / GU

Uniform: 10 yen (exclusive of tax)
https://www.uniqlo.com/jp/corp/pressrelease/2020/02/20021811_shoppingbag.html

Don Quijote

The type and size of plastic shopping back differs according to the store. Check the price at the store in question.
https://www.donki.com/plastic_bag/

MUJI

This chain has abolished plastic shopping bags, and will continue to distribute paper shopping bags free of charge.
https://ryohin-keikaku.jp/news/2020_0204_02.html

Tokyu Hands

This chain has abolished plastic shopping bags, and will continue to distribute paper shopping bags free of charge.
https://www.tokyu-hands.co.jp/news/20200302_release_EcoStart_HP.pdf


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