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政府がレジ袋の有料化を全国のスーパーやコンビニなどの小売店に義務付ける制度が7月1日、始まった。プラスチックごみが海に流れ出し、海洋汚染につながることを防ぐ。マイバッグの持参がより浸透するとみられるが、外食業界のテークアウトでは有料化の対象外となる袋を使って無料配布を続ける動きがあり、プラごみ削減に向けた課題も残る。

有料化の対象は商品を入れるための持ち手のついたプラスチック製買い物袋。繰り返し使える厚手の袋や環境に配慮した袋は対象にならない。今回の有料化はプラごみのうちの数%とされるレジ袋にとどまりプラごみ全体を減らすには追加対策が必要との指摘もある。(KYODO)

Words and phrases

政府 (せいふ) government

レジ袋 (ぶくろ) checkout bag, plastic shopping bag

有料化 (ゆうりょうか) charging fees

全国 (ぜんこく) whole of the country, nationwide

スーパー supermarket

コンビニ convenience store

など and others

小売店 (こうりてん) small retail store

義務付(ぎむづ)ける to make compulsory, to mandate

制度 (せいど) system

7月 (しちがつ) July

1日 (ついたち) the 1st

始(はじ)まる to begin

プラスチックごみ、プラごみ plastic waste

海 (うみ) sea

〜に流(なが)れ出(だ)す flow into ~

海洋汚染 (かいようおせん) marine pollution

〜につながる to connect to ~, to lead to ~

防(ふせ)ぐ to prevent

マイバッグ “my bag” (a bag you take with you to go shopping)

持参 (じさん) bringing

より more

浸透(しんとう)する to penetrate (the market), to become widespread

〜とみられる to be expected to ~

外食 (がいしょく) dining out

業界(ぎょうかい) industry

テークアウト takeout

対象外 (たいしょうがい) not subject to

使(つか)う to use

無料 (むりょう) free of charge

配布 (はいふ) to distribute, to give out

続(つづ)ける to continue

動(うご)き move

削減 (さくげん) reduction

〜に向(む)ける toward ~

課題 (かだい) challenge, problem

残(のこ)る to remain

商品 (しょうひん) product

入(い)れる to put in

持(も)ち手(て) handle

〜のつく with ~

プラスチック製(せい) made of plastic

買(か)い物(もの) shopping

繰(く)り返(かえ)し repeat

厚手(あつで)の thick

環境 (かんきょう) environment

配慮(はいりょ)する to give consideration

今回 (こんかい) this time

〜のうち out of ~

数(すう)% a few percent

〜とされる to be estimated as ~

〜にとどまる to remain at ~

全体 (ぜんたい) overall

減(へ)らす to reduce

追加対策 (ついかたいさく) additional measure

必要 (ひつよう) necessary

指摘 (してき) pointing out

Quick questions

1) レジ袋の有料化には何の目的がありますか?

2) 有料化の対象外となっているのはどのようなレジ袋ですか?

3) プラごみ全体を減らすには追加対策が必要と指摘されているのはなぜですか?

Translation

On July 1, the government mandated a nationwide system that requires small retail stores such as supermarkets and convenience stores to charge for plastic shopping bags. (The initiative) is aimed at preventing plastic waste from flowing into the sea and leading to marine pollution. The carrying of a “My Bag” is expected to become more widespread, but the move to continue offering free bags not covered by the charge in the food-service industry’s takeout (practices) means issues remain in the reduction of plastic waste.

Plastic shopping bags with handles used to carry products will be charged. Thick bags that can be used repeatedly or bags that are environmentally friendly are not subject (to the charge).

As the current charge is limited to plastic shopping bags, which are estimated to be just a few percent of overall plastic waste, the identification of additional measures is necessary to reduce overall waste.

Answers

1) What is the purpose of charging for the plastic shopping bags?

プラスチックごみが海に流れ出し、海洋汚染につながることを防ぐ。

To prevent plastic waste from flowing into the sea and causing marine pollution.

2) What kind of bags are exempt from the charging fees?

繰り返し使える厚手の袋や環境に配慮した袋。

Thick bags that can be used repeatedly or bags that are environmentally friendly.

3) Why do some experts point out that additional measures are necessary to reduce overall plastic bags?

レジ袋はプラごみのうちの数パーセントにとどまるとされているから。

Because plastic shopping bags are estimated to be just a few percent of overall plastic waste.

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