Linked: Japan to ban free free plastic bags at shops

Japan plans to make it mandatory to charge for plastic shopping bags at supermarkets, convenience stores, drugstores and department stores as the country combats marine pollution by plastic waste.

Though this is only a small part of Japan’s plastic problem, I can’t believe I will live to see this day.

The price charged for a bag will be set by the shop. I expect that the price they charge, at convenience stores in particular, will be very inexpensive. Nonetheless, because the customer needs to be asked, perhaps they’ll consider taking their items without one.

I’ve never been to a supermarket where plastic bags were free, but the prices are typically 3 yen for a smaller bag, and 5 yen for a large one. They’re very cheap, but I almost never see them bought – most everyone has an ‘eco’ bag for life.

(I used to live near a shop which sold the city’s required bin bags as their ‘I forgot my eco bag’ alternative, which I thought was brilliant.)