Nearly 370 million disposable cups used by Japanese coffee chains in 2020 – Environment

News Office (Kyodo News)

Tokyo, Japan ●
Fri, August 12, 2022


An estimated 369.65 million disposable cups were used to serve drinks by nine major coffee shops in Japan in 2020 alone, highlighting limited progress in promoting reusable cups and reducing waste, according to a recent report. investigation by an environmental protection group.

Greenpeace Japan said the annual waste translates to 1 million single-use plastic and paper cups per day, which if stacked on top of each other is “equivalent to the height of more than 10,000 Mt. Fujis”, reaching an altitude of over 37,000 kilometers.

The group surveyed Starbucks, Tully’s Coffee, Pronto, Doutor, Caffe Veloce, Excelsior Caffe, Ueshima Coffee House, Cafe de Crie and Komeda, sending out questionnaires, observing their stores and analyzing sales data and other records .

Starbucks is estimated to have consumed the most disposable cups, totaling around 231.7 million, of which some 142.1 million were plastic cups. It was followed by Tully’s Coffee at 72.5 million cups and Pronto at 35.3 million cups.

According to Greenpeace, these three chains mainly serve drinks in disposable cups, even for customers who drink them in chain stores, increasing their reliance on disposable products.

The three chains serve 3%, 20% and 31% of their drinks in reusable cups, respectively, he said. Nagoya-based Komeda served nearly all of its drinks in reusable cups, the survey found.

A public relations officer from Starbucks Coffee Japan said Kyodo News the Seattle-based coffee chain has set a global goal to cut waste in half by 2030 compared to 2019.

As part of the effort, its Japanese subsidiary has started serving cold drinks in glasses in 106 of its stores since April, while also trialling take-out drinks in reusable cups for hire, according to the manager. .

The report says that around 91,000 single-use disposable cups are discarded every hour in the Japanese cafe sector alone.

“With most of them incinerated or, in the worst case scenario, improperly released into the environment, joint action by the coffee industry and government is urgently needed to end the flood of disposable cups. unique and move to a system based on the mantra of ‘reduce, reuse and recharge'”, he added.

Tomohiro Tasaki, head of research at the National Institute for Environmental Studies on resource circulation and waste management, said one of the steps coffee chains can take immediately to reduce plastic waste is apparently to switch to reusable cups for food service.

“They should be able to promote the switch to reusable cups in a reasonably smooth way by introducing a new sales system such as charging for disposable cups and giving discounts to customers using reusable cups,” he said. declared.

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