A charge for plastic bags has taken effect from July this year and the free distribution of plastic bags was prohibited. However various corporations in Japan had already been prepared for the new bag policy since April. For example Matsumoto Kiyoshi, a major drug store and the supermarkets and other stores affiliated to the Aeon network had already started charging for plastic bags and Uniqlo switched to paper bags.
Excessive wrapping culture in Japan
Many amongst those who visit Japan from abroad must be taken aback from the excessive packaging. Japanese stores have a policy to add 2 or 3 layers of wrapping to all goods be it fragile objects like glass products or things such as food and clothing.
This seems to be rooted to the spirit Japanese hospitality by which store employees assume that customers would be pleased receiving something that has been carefully wrapped.
In addition to that the culture of wrapping might also be attributed to the overcautious nature of the Japanese who would worry about food spillage or the damage of goods.
Zero Plastic awareness in Japan
We can hardly say that in addition to being a hospitable country Japan showcases a high level of plastic awareness. Despite being amongst the G7 Japan ranks the lowest when it comes to awareness on environmental issues.
If we take a look inside Japan it turns out that the level of plastic awareness differs significantly based on age and gender, with women in their 60s being the most conscious and men in their 20s being the least conscious and women being more conscious than men. (refer to https://www.intage.co.jp/gallery/plastic-free/)
Having said that, with the number of environmentally conscious foreign companies, that are popular with the younger generation in Japan, such as Starbucks and LUSH increasing we can expect that the level of plastic awareness will continue to rise.
Recommends for stylish eco friendly carrier bags
Do you want to save yourself from paying for plastic bags?
Then how about you start using an eco friendly bag? Eco friendly bags are fashionable, you can choose the one you like and will last for a long time, they are also good for the environment. Without further delay let us search for one that suits you!
CORAZON's stylish Japanese style retro eco friendly bag is actually a furoshiki, a wrapping cloth that we can call the cornerstone of the wrapping culture in Japan without exaggerating. You are free to use and bind the furoshiki as you please and you will have lots of fun finding your favorite design.
— りょう (@rcsm_glc) June 24, 2020
Although we mainly picture DEAN&DELUCA as a posh café, the shop also sells a variety of eco friendly bags and thermal bags which are popular to the extent that you can frequently see people carrying them around, thanks to their matte color and simple design. This bag is also equipped with a gusset so that you can pack more things.
— 三保原屋🍵静岡 (@mihoharaya) June 30, 2020
For those who wish to carry an eco friendly bag as a regular bag we recommend checking out Shupatto. Their bags are really easy to fold and you won’t believe how compact they are. They also have an abundance of sizes and designs so you will definitely find a bag that you like.
Brighten your daily life with your favorite eco friendly bag!
Unfortunately in comparison to other countries Japan is a major consumer of plastics and still has some way to go to be recognized as an environmentally conscious country.
However we can honestly say that the new carrier bag policy is a step forward. How about we take the plastic bag policy as an opportunity and introduce eco friendly bags into our daily lives. Carrying your favorite bag will certainly brighten up your daily routine before you know it.
So why don't you hurry up and find your own?