Expanding their initiatives to cut back on plastic waste generation, the Japanese government has proposed a new bill banning businesses from offering single-use plastic cutlery.
The bill was first approved by the Japanese Cabinet on March 9, and is set to take effect by April of 2022 once approved by the Diet or the national legislature of Japan.
Japanese Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi declared that once the bill is approved, “spoons will not be given out for free. This is an advanced version of the charge for plastic shopping bags.”
A fine of 500,000 yen (around P222,000) will be issued to stores that will continue to offer plastic cutlery once the bill is finalized. That would mean that customers need to bring their own cutlery at all times along with the reusable bag initiative that is already in effect in the country.
Following their July 2020 measure of banning plastic shopping bags, this latest move is set to further lessen the country’s plastic waste impact. The United Nations estimates that 8 million metric tons of plastic waste end up in our oceans, each year causing microplastic pollution that harms the planet.
Japan is also looking into introducing a country-wide system to certify environmentally friendly products.
Photo from via Brian Urasits via Unsplash