KYOTO – A city assembly in western Japan enacted an ordinance Tuesday that bans local retailers from offering single-use plastic shopping bags to customers, whether they are free or priced, the first such measure in the country.
The ordinance in Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture, is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2021. Offering paper and other biodegradable bags will also be banned.
Offenders will face regulatory inspections and warnings. If they fail to abide by them, their names will be published starting June 1, 2021.
The Kameoka Municipal Government initially aimed to have the ordinance take effect in August this year, but the date was pushed back after businesses sought a get-acquainted period.
If the spread of the novel coronavirus continues, the city government will consider further postponing the date of enforcement.
The central government will require retailers across the country to charge customers for plastic shopping bags starting in July this year.