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Retailers and restaurants in Japan will be required to reduce the use of 12 kinds of disposable plastic products under a new law to be enforced on April 1 next year, according to details of the law unveiled by the environment and industry ministries Monday.

Disposable spoons, toothbrushes and hangers are among the plastic products to be subject to the mandatory usage reduction under the new law aimed at reducing plastic waste and promoting recycling.

Convenience stores, supermarkets, hotels, dry cleaners, restaurants and other businesses that handle 5 tons or more of disposable plastic products a year will be obliged to reduce the use of the 12 products.

They will be urged to take necessary measures to achieve the reduction target, including introducing products made of alternative materials, charging customers for single-use plastic products or giving reward points to customers who decline to use such items.

To businesses not taking sufficient measures, the government will give correction orders or guidance. Noncompliant businesses will be subjected to fines.

With the enforcement of the new law, municipalities will establish a system where they can collect stationery goods, hangers and other plastic products as recyclable waste along with plastic containers, such as food trays and confectionery bags. Standards will be set to prevent small electronic devices and lithium-ion batteries, which may catch fire, from getting mixed into the garbage.

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