AEON will start charging for plastic shopping bags at all of its supermarkets from April 1.
Plastic bag fees in Japan mandatory from July
From April 1, about 7,300 of the AEON’s 11,000 retail outlets will start charging for plastic bags. It will charge JPY2 (2 cents) to JPY5 yen per bag. The retailer has been charging for plastic bags at some of its supermarkets since 2007.
Plastic bag fees will become mandatory in Japan regardless of the size of the retailer or size of the store from July 1 (some service sectors are exempt from the charges, e.g. dry-cleaning shops). There will be no charges for thin plastic bags used for perishable foods and eco-friendly bags made from plant-based materials. Businesses will be allowed to set bag prices on their own, but the government is asking them to charge at least JPY1 per bag.