A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

No More Free Bags in Tsukuba

In a country where you are given a plastic bag for your box of popcorn when you are at the movie theatre (which I witnessed at the Cineplex last night), I thought there was no hope of seeing the use of plastic shopping bags decrease in my lifetime. I am an enthusiastic user of cloth shopping bags (I have two in my purse at all times and several in the trunk of my car), but I haven’t seen much proof that the “my bag” trend has caught on in Japan in a major way.

All this may start to change on September 1, 2008, at least in Tsukuba, where several major supermarkets will stop giving out free plastic bags with purchases. So far, eleven companies representing 25 individual stores have signed on for this program. The stores will sell plastic bags, but the profits will either go towards point card systems or environmental projects.

Here is a list of participating stores.

A Coop (Katsuragi)
Fresh Yaokane
JA Tsukuba (Yatabe)
Jusco (Tsukuba)
Kadoya (Toyosato, Yatabe)
Kasumi (Tsukuba, Gakuen, Oho, Tsukuba Asse, Technopark Sakura, Umezono, Gran Plechef, Midorino Ekimae)
Marumo (Gakuen)
Masuda (Kukizaki, Namiki)
New Quick (Tsukuba)
Torisen (Kenkyu Gakuen)
Uomatsu (City Market Uomatsu, Kamigo, Takamihara)
Yamauchi (Takezono, Matsushiro)

Source: Tsukuba City Hall Website

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