TOKYO, Aug 26 — Japanese companies in the retail, restaurant, and accommodation industries are accelerating efforts to reduce the use of plastic, such as introducing products made of alternative materials.
According to reports by Jiji Press, excessive use of plastic has been criticized as one of the biggest causes of environmental pollution.
This week, the Japanese government unveiled its comprehensive plan that requires major companies to reduce the use of disposable plastic products under a new law to be enforced from April 1 next year.
Businesses subject to the law will be obliged to reduce the use of the 12 items, including disposable spoons and toothbrushes, currently provided for free to consumers.
On August 17th, convenience store operator Lawson Inc. started offering wooden spoons to customers, instead of plastic ones, at eight Natural Lawson outlets in Tokyo, on a trial basis.
Retail giant Seven & I Holdings Co.aims to end the use of plastic in containers and packaging for its original products and start using environmentally considerate materials by 2050.
Restaurant chain Skylark Holdings Co. has been using biomass materials for its takeout forks and other utensils. This summer, it also started asking customers using a delivery service whether they needed such items.
Convenience store operator FamilyMart Co. created a plastic spoon with holes, which requires 12 pct less plastic than the conventional one does.
The company started introducing the spoon at some outlets in May.
It plans to have all of its outlets across the country introduce the spoon by the end of September, which would help the company to reduce plastic use by 65 tons a year.