From July 1, a new law will require shops in Japan to start charging a fee for single-use plastic bags. Spying an opportunity, East Japan Railway Company (better known as JR East) has come up with a new campaign to promote eco-friendly shopping habits and the importance of reducing plastic waste.
Beginning June 16, 500,000 free eco bags will be up for grabs at one of the 21 exclusive stores inside JR station buildings – think convenience store chain New Days, bento shop Ekibenya Matsuri in Tokyo Station, supermarket chain Kinokuniya, as well as the Atré and Lumine food halls.
However, it’s not as easy as it sounds to get your hands on one of these limited edition bags. Only selected JR stations are involved in the campaign, so you’ll have to look out for posters and digital signage to know if you’re in a participating station. Also, to be eligible for one of these eco bags, you’ll have to spend a certain amount at one of the aforementioned shops. Your best bet is New Days – you only have to spend ¥500 to qualify, whereas you’ll need to spend ¥1,000 at Kinokuniya.
The eco bags are produced jointly by JR East, outdoor gear brand Snow Peak, and green manufacturing company Japan Environment Planning. Designed by Snow Peak, the stylish bags are made from recycled plastic bottles. The bags come in camel or khaki, but which colour you get depends on the store.
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