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Fast Retailing Co., operator of the Uniqlo casual clothing chain, said Wednesday it will switch from plastic to paper shopping bags from September, joining worldwide efforts to tackle what many believe is one of the most pressing environmental issues.

Under the plan, the company aims to reduce the amount of plastic used for shopping bags and packaging materials at its group stores worldwide by 85 percent, or around 7,800 tons annually, by the end of 2020.

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