Tokyo’s Suginami Ward office is considering introducing a tax on plastic bags that are handed out to customers at stores as a way to reduce the quantity of garbage, ward officials said Tuesday.

According to the officials, the tax is likely to be 5 yen per plastic bag and some 2,000 supermarkets and retailers in the ward will be subject to it for a period of five years.

The ward office believes the new tax will curtail the use of the bags by customers and the revenue, estimated at 188 million yen a year, will be used to promote the reduction of garbage and recycling, the officials said.

The office will discuss how to impose the tax with the Home Affairs Ministry and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and hopes it can be introduced by March 31, 2001, the end of fiscal 2000.

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