Hello, Mika here!
(ルンド @ 夜9時 / Lund @ 9:00pm)
It's June. The summer solstice! In June, the longest day, my son who is 5 years old, still can't read the clock, so he asks me every day, "Night? Is it already night?" And when he goes to bed, it's still bright outside like the daytime, so he always seems dissatisfied before going to bed and says "I have to go to bed?"
Midsommar（The summer solstice), which celebrates the longest day of the year, is very important to Swedish people, and is one of the most important annual events after Christmas and Easter.
The celebration is two days near the summer solstice, Friday ("Midsommarafton") and Saturday ("Midsommardagen"). This year it is on the 19th and 20th.
During the celebration, special meals are eaten with family and friends, and locally made strawberries and potatoes are indispensable among the various dishes prepared. If these two do not line up at the table, the celebration of the summer solstice will not come true! It's such an important menu.
(今年の料理 / This year's feast)
At noon, we go to the plaza and spend the day dancing and singing around the poles of Midsummer.
(スーパーオリジナル紙袋 / Original paper bag from store)
Last time, I mentioned about the taxation on plastic shopping bags in Sweden in May.
All plastic shopping bags are subject to tax now, so not only supermarkets but also plastic shopping bags in clothing stores are taxable.
There are varieties of plastic shopping bag as they use various materials. Some uses polyethylene, green polyethylene made from sugar cane and those made from recycled materials etc. These all are taxable.
Even plastic bags using recycled raw materials or green polyethylene are taxed? Yes, this time, "all bags that can not be used repeatedly" are targeted.
(野菜用ビニール袋 @ 0.38クローネ / Bag for vegetables @ 0.38 kr)
On the contrary, even if the material used polyethylene, it can be exempt from taxation if it is more sturdy and sold for the purpose of repeated use (ie: not single-use). Also, paper bags are excluded. (However, if the main material is made of paper but has a plastic handle, it will be subject to tax.)
The tax amount is 3kr (about 30 yen) for ordinary shopping bags and 0.30kr (about 3 yen) for packing vegetables and fruits (thinness of 15 microns or less and volume of 7 liters or less). When I actually checked the tax-included price at the shop, it was 6kr-7kr (about 60-70 yen) for ordinary shopping bags, and 0.38kr (about 4 yen) for a small packing bag.
Since paper bags are not taxable, many supermarkets have paper bags for collecting vegetables and fruits. In some supermarkets, instead of preparing their own paper bag, there is a paper bag for compost!
(コンポスト用の袋 / Bag that can be composted)
It's a little off topic, but in Sweden you have to throw your garbage in the designated composting bag when you throw it out. I don't need to buy it as it is distributed free of charge, but I like this supermarket because the bag I used to buy vegetables can be reused when I throw out the garbage. However, compost bags are a little thick and not suitable for mass sales, so I think many stores have their own paper bags.
(コンポスト用の袋 / Bag that can be composted)
Speaking of reuse, reusable bags made of mesh like Veggio and frusack introduced earlier are now sold at supermarkets everywhere, and people who are using mesh bags are also often seen.
(パン売り場 / Bread section)
By the way, I'm also one of those people who uses mesh bags for shopping, but I've always been having issues with one thing. Bread.
In the bread section, individually packaged items are also sold, but you can bring items that you want individually into a bag and take them to the cash register.
The bread bag provided in the supermarket is a paper bag, but it has a vinyl window so that you can see inside.
I was always worried about putting bread in a mesh bag, so I always used the paper bag provided, but since I recently found a cotton bread bag, I started using it! You can reuse it when you store it, take it to a picnic; it's very handy!
(パンバッグ / Bread bag)
I hope that bread bags will also be sold at supermarkets like mesh bags and will be used by many people.
See you next month!