The Japanese government has started a rewards program to incentivize consumers to make eco-conscious choices, The Japan Times reports. The program, which launched in June 2022, will reward everyday decisions like ridesharing, purchasing energy-efficient appliances, opting for more eco-friendly packaging, and declining single-use plastic utensils.
The government is partnering with large retailers, such as the e-commerce giant Rakuten Group, Inc and the mall chain Aeon Mall Co. This program will also support rewards programs managed by local governments and nonprofits. The credit can go toward airline mileage points, online purchases, and even some investments.
This program serves as an attempt to cut household carbon and “encourage people to make positive and proactive behavioral changes,” Environment Minister Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi said at the program announcement. Japan currently comes in fifth among the nations that contribute the most greenhouse gas but has cut its annual emissions by 18.4 percent since 2013 and aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
A survey conducted by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment found that over 60 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to take more environmentally friendly actions that they do not currently take if there were incentives.