There are several issues around ecology. Our daily life depends on massive disposal of resources. Recycle of some materials seems necessary for sustainable future.
In England, an attempt to reduce the consumption of plastic bags in supermarkets was carried out. Plastic bags are not only easily wasted but also can be a cause of death of wild marine birds. The method was simple: 5 pence was charged to each bag supply.
After one year, more than six billion bags were saved, surprisingly. Additionally, more than 29 million GBP were gathered from retailers to the community in accordance with this campaign.
Independent: Five-pence charge has saved six billion plastic bags
This kind of approach is conducted in many places. Indeed, this kind of legislation had been introduced in other regions in the UK and other countries in Europe.
In London, I was recommended to buy a vinyl bag for receiving purchased goods in the supermarket when I stayed there last year. I got it, and was satisfied to its usability. However, I seldom carried it with me when visiting the store, because there was no penalty to have my own bag. Mandatory payment for plastic bags would have been needed for me to adhere to the usage of my own bag.
In Japan, some stores have introduced similar schemes spontaneously. But this system looks unpopular because of its inconvenience. For myself, I have no idea to use the store in which plastic bags are not offered for free, to be honest.
Environmental issues are hardly suitable for the market mechanism. Official regulation seems necessary to regulate the ecological balance.