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CAMP FOSTER — Okinawa is taking a big step in its goal to be green.

Starting Oct. 1, 10 major supermarkets that cover most of the island will charge three yen for a plastic grocery shopping bag, according to the Okinawa prefectural government.

According to recent studies, on average a single person uses about 300 plastic bags a year, said Hiroaki Kawasaki of the prefecture’s waste management division. He said switching from free to paid bags will help to motivate shoppers to bring their own bags, cutting down the consumption of plastic bags by 80 percent, or about 312 million a year.

If the reduction is achieved, it could save 1.5 million gallons of petroleum that would have been used to make and incinerate the bags, he said.

Plastic bags on U.S. bases will remain free, according to Defense Commissary Agency officials.

Sailors finish workat Guam schools

U.S. sailors on Guam were to wrap up this weekend a three-week volunteering effort to clean up and do general maintenance at public schools on the island, according to a release from U.S. Naval Forces Marianas.

The volunteers from eight Navy commands on Guam painted, mowed grass, trimmed hedges, pressure-washed buildings and performed other light maintenance, the release said.

The commands include: U.S. Naval Forces Marianas, U.S. Naval Base Guam, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, U.S. Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Guam, USS Frank Cable, Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron 7, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5, U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas, and U.S. Naval Airborne Weapons Maintenance Unit 1.

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