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Japan study reports use of 369 million coffee cups in 2020

Studies have shown an estimated 369.5 million disposable cups still being used by major coffee chains in Japan.
Studies have shown an estimated 369.5 million disposable cups still being used by major coffee chains in Japan.
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16 Aug 2022 09:08:27 GMT9
16 Aug 2022 09:08:27 GMT9

Sakina Juzar

A daily routine without a cup of coffee sounds incomplete. It is only natural that the production of disposable coffee cups is at a surging high, especially in one of the busiest economies in the world .

While there have been some efforts to help reduce waste like Starbucks Japan’s campaign for reusable mug service, studies have shown an estimated 369.5 million disposable cups still being used by major coffee chains in Japan. According to a recent study by Greenpeace Japan, an environmental conservation group, that number is roughly proportional  to one million paper and plastic cups per day. 

Furthermore, the study analyzed nine major coffee chains in Japan for disposable cup usage: Starbucks Coffee Japan, Tully’s Coffee, Pronto, Doutor, Caffe Veloce, Excelsior Caffe, Ueshima Coffee House, Cafe de Crie and Komeda’s Coffee. 

According to the report, the staggering amount of 369,500,000 disposable cups would weigh over 2,808 tonnes, and would be as tall as 60,000 Tokyo SkyTree Towers if the cups were to be stacked. 

The problem of disposable cups is that they pollute the land and sea, but are difficult to recycle, therefore being incinerated after a single use. 

Greenpeace Japan, in an attempt to address this issue, has set up an online petition to ask three major coffee chains – Starbucks, Tully’s Coffee and Pronto – urging them to decrease the use of disposable cups and serve coffee in an eco-friendly way. 

The petition, aiming to work with the chains to bring a change, asks them each to understand the implication of the amount of waste generated and set realistic waste reduction targets accordingly. Second, the chains are encouraged to use mugs and glasses in store, and encourage customers to bring in their own cups for takeaway drinks or introduce returnable reusable cups. 

The study states that if all the chains were to start serving drinks in options such as reusable mugs and glasses, the amount of waste could see a potential decrease to 158.6 million, which is a massive improvement from the current number. 

Find the Greenpeace petition here.

 

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