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Japan begins charging for plastic luggage

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TOKYO: Retailers in Japan started charging for plastic luggage on Wednesday (Jul 1), a transfer geared toward curbing Japanese shoppers’ love for packaging and at last bringing the nation consistent with different main economies.

Outlets together with the ever-present comfort shops can determine how a lot to cost prospects for the baggage, with a standard worth being ¥3 (round US$0.03).

The brand new rule appeared to be having some impact, with one shopper telling public broadcaster NHK: “I purchase issues at a comfort retailer each morning. I knew the cost was beginning so I introduced my very own bag.”

Guests to Japan are sometimes shocked by the quantity of packaging concerned in even essentially the most fundamental of transactions – most comfort shops wrap particular person bananas in plastic.

The nation produces extra plastic packaging waste per capita than any nation other than america, in response to the United Nations, with campaigners criticising Tokyo for transferring too slowly on lowering plastic consumption.

With the measure, Japan has vowed to “curb extreme use of plastic and take into consideration how you can use it properly”, in response to its most up-to-date coverage doc.

Introducing a nationwide payment “is geared toward prompting individuals to assume twice if a bag is actually needed and serving to individuals to evaluation their life”, the federal government mentioned.

In 2018, Japan vowed to scale back its annual 9.four million tonnes of plastic waste by 1 / 4 by 2030.

And assembly in Osaka final yr, leaders from the G20 main economies agreed to scale back marine plastic waste.

Japan touts an enviable waste-management system, and the federal government says greater than 80 per cent of its plastic waste is recycled.

However a lot of that “recycling” includes merely incinerating plastic, typically to supply power – a course of that generates carbon dioxide and contributes to local weather change.

In response to authorities knowledge, luggage account for two per cent of the entire quantity of plastic waste.

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