Muji is a retailer where customers can get everything from food to stationery to curry. It's quite popular for offering "minimalist" no-logo (the store's full name, Mujirushi Ryouhin, translates to "no logo goods" in Japanese) and even generic goods, both in Japan and around the world.
In a move to be more convenient and perhaps "retro", Muji will now be selling 28 types of sweets such as cookies, marshmallows, chocolates, rice crackers, etc. by weight. However, each item will come in individual plastic wrapping.
The announcement to sell snacks individually (1 gram for 4 yen, with a minimum of 20 grams) for portion control and convenience has gotten a positive response, but the announcement comes on the heels of attention being called to excess plastic waste in Japan, highlighted by Change.org petition (18,979 signatures) organized by a 16-year old student calling for major Japanese snack companies to stop individually wrapping their goods as a call to protect the environment.
While the petition gained a lot of support, the student also received backlash, with many citing the convenience of individual plastic packaging in terms of Japan's strong culture of buying souvenirs for co-workers and family when making a trip, as well as being more hygienic. Rather, individually packaged goods are thought of as considerate.
Last year, the Associated Press reported that while Japan aimed to make bans on single-use plastics and efforts to limit plastic waste a major point at the 2019 G-20 summit, legislation, enforcement, and timing were still looked at with skepticism.
The snacks sold by weight system will be implemented at 55 Muji shops across Japan starting Sept 16.
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