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Plastic Bag Fees In Japan Start July 2020

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Japan will start charging fees for plastic bags at stores beginning July 1, 2020, as one step towards reducing disposable plastic waste. Shoppers should come prepared with their own bags to hold groceries, clothing, and other purchases unless they want to pay for a bag at the register.


Japan to Start Charging for Plastic Bags Nationwide

plastic bags japan

Starting July 1, 2020, Japanese businesses and retailers throughout the country will begin charging a small fee for plastic bags per law from the government. This is considered to be a step forward in helping reduce plastic waste from Japan and to increase consumer awareness about the negative environmental effects of too much plastic usage. From supermarkets to convenience stores, to individual shops, most businesses in Japan will now have to ask for a small fee for plastic bags at check-out.

Although a large number of grocery store chains and retailers already charge for bags, this is the first large-scale order from the government. Stores must sell their plastic bags for 1 yen or more––customers can likely expect to pay between 5 to 10 yen per bag.

Certain existing plastic bags are exempt from this fee. This includes plastic bags with a thickness of 50mm or more, plastic bags that can break down in seawater, and plastic bags made from plant-based materials.

In addition, a number of plastics provided by retailers, like plastic grocery bags without handles (used for perishable items), plastic bags for holding merchandise samples, and plastic bags for tax-exempt items, among other bags, will not be charged for.

Avoid Fees and Bring Your Own Shopping Bag

Plastic Bag Fee To Begin In Japan Starting July 2020

The simplest solution to avoiding paying a fee and to practice being more environmentally conscious is to supply your own bag. Sturdy bags in all types of designs are available at 100-yen stores, convenience stores, and shops throughout Japan. Most would agree that these bags are more stylish and more fun to use than plastic bags.

no plastic bag

To tell the cashier you have your own bag and do not want a store-bought plastic bag, feel free to show the image above to an employee. The Japanese is written below:

fukuro wa iranai des
Thank you, but I don't need a bag.

For those studying Japanese: we recommend this easy Japanese manga article about refusing plastic bags at the cash register at convenience store.

MATCHA's Easy Japanese Website:

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.