H&M Japan announced its switch to using paper shopping bags in 88 stores across Japan from Dec. 5 this year. The plastic shopping bags will never be seen again and extra charges for shopping bags will be implemented. H&M globally began to popularize the use of paper shopping bags during this year in September.
The paper shopping bags that H&M will use in Japan are made from a mixture of sustainable materials and 100% recycled paper certified by the FSC (Forest Management Association), and productions are also carried out in Japan. The bag is durable and lightweight, and is designed to reduce carbon footprint on the environment. All shopping bags regardless of any sizes will cost 20 yen (approx. US$ 0.18). The current leftover inventory of plastic shopping bags will continue to be used before they are fully consumed, and a fee of 20 yen will be charged. In the future, H&M is encouraging consumers to reuse paper bags and bring their own to shop, or buy canvas shopping bags from 200 yen to 300 yen (approx. US$ 1.75 to 2.63). The shopping bag charging policy aims to reduce the usage to 50% by 2020. In addition, all the proceeds from the paper shopping bag minus the manufacturing cost will be donated to WWF Japan (World Wildlife Fund) to reduce marine litter and plastic pollution.
"H&M is the world’s second largest fashion group in the world. We want to show to everyone what can be realized by taking advantage of this scale by doing more social and meaningful actions,” says H&M Japan CEO, Lucas Seifert at the press conference. “Our mission is to contribute through a one-way consumption to a recycling way of consumption.”