ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter

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.

Companies that use large amounts of single-use plastic will be required to take steps such as asking customers whether they want utensils, charging a fee for them or switching to products made from biodegradable materials -- or risk fines of up to 500,000 yen ($4,500) for repeated violations.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more