Convenience stores in Japan to charge for plastic bags from July


Three major convenience store operators will charge customers ¥3 for each plastic shopping bag at all domestic outlets from July 1, it was learned Thursday.

This comes in line with the government’s plan to oblige retailers across the country to charge fees for plastic bags from July.

Seven-Eleven Japan Co. will charge ¥5 per extra-large plastic bag. The four smaller types of plastic bags will cost ¥3 each.

Customers will pay ¥3 per bag at convenience stores operated by FamilyMart Co. and Lawson Inc., regardless of size.

Seven-Eleven Japan, FamilyMart and Lawson are all planning to gradually switch their plastic bags to those containing 30 percent of biomass materials.

While plastic bags containing at least 25 percent of biomass materials are excluded from the charging requirement, the trio aims to reduce plastic waste through charging fees for their plastic bags and promoting the use of reusable shopping bags.

Among retailers in Japan, Aeon Co. and other major supermarket operators, as well as drug store chains including Matsumotokiyoshi Holdings Co., started charging fees for plastic bags in April.