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Days of free plastic forks and straws numbered under new Japan law

Restaurants hunt for innovative solutions to cut down on single-use waste

Starbucks has begun selling reusable straws in Japan. The coffee shop operator said in 2018 that it would phase out single-use plastic straws worldwide. (Photo courtesy of Starbucks Coffee Japan)

TOKYO -- Japan's restaurants and retailers will soon have to stop giving away plastic forks, spoons and containers under a law passed Friday to cut down on such waste, instead looking into such options as charging for utensils, switching to biodegradables, or letting customers fend for themselves.

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