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Banning free plastic bags a good step toward new lifestyle

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A government proposal, put to a panel of experts last month, aims to ban the free distribution of single-use plastic shopping bags at supermarkets, convenience stores and all retail outlets in April next year. The move would require amending ministerial ordinances under the Containers and Packaging Recycling Law.

We hope this proposal will represent Japan’s first firm commitment to ending society’s excessive reliance on single-use plastic products.

Consumers will have to be reminded to bring their own shopping bags to stores. And retailers need to consider offering paper bags or those made of more eco-friendly materials.

Japan ranks second in the world, after the United States, in the amount of per-capita generation of single-use plastic trash.

Plastic waste entering the world’s oceans has become a grave problem, and the government in May compiled........

© The Asahi Shimbun