Plastic bags in Japan stores will now cost you money

Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi
Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi

Plastic bags in Japan stores will now cost you money

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Okinawa

Starting July 1 in Japan, a new national law designed to tackle the overwhelming quantity of plastic waste kicks in, requiring retailers, supermarkets and convenience stores to charge customers for disposable plastic bags.

Stores will start charging you one yen or more when you ask for a plastic bag to put your purchased goods in.

You may have noticed that some supermarkets have already been charging customers for plastic bags and giving discounts to those who bring their own reusable bags.  

To cope with the change, I recently bought two portable eco-bags at Daiso, a 100-yen shop. Although they are cheap, they look good, are compact and durable enough for daily use. They fit in my work and causal bags I carry on a daily basis so I I don’t need to use plastic bags anymore.

I’m ready for the new law!

In Japan, you can buy eco-bags at relatively inexpensive prices at any convenience store, supermarket, 100-yen shop, department store.

And, hey, you can make a fashion statement with your bag. There are countless options, from a cheap, simple one to shining colorful bag with kawaii character designs and even high-end stylish bags designed by Prada, Gucci and Chloe.

So, go out and get your own favorite eco-bag and keep it with you when you are out and about. And, when a cashier asks you if you need a disposable rejibukuro for 3 yen, just smile, shake your head and show them your favorite nice-looking eco-bag.

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