Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi said Friday that his ministry has stopped distributing plastic bags at all shops inside its government building, taking what he touted as a trailblazing step toward reducing plastic waste.

Plastic bags are no longer provided at any shop within the ministry's building in Tokyo, including a Seven-Eleven outlet and other stores selling books, drugs and bento. The same building also houses the health ministry.

People buying items at the stores have been asked to bring their own bags.