With the measure, Japan has vowed to “curb excessive use of plastic and think about how to use it wisely”, according to its most recent policy document.
Introducing a nationwide fee “is aimed at prompting people to think twice if a bag is really necessary and helping people to review their lifestyles,” the government said.
In 2018, Japan vowed to reduce its annual 9.4 million tonnes of plastic waste by a quarter by 2030.
And at a meeting in Osaka last year, leaders from the G20 economies agreed to reduce marine plastic waste.
Japan touts an enviable waste management system, and the government says more than 80 percent of its plastic waste is recycled.
But much of that “recycling” involves simply incinerating plastic, often to produce energy — a process that generates carbon dioxide and contributes to climate change.
According to government data, bags account for two percent of the total amount of plastic waste.