Starbucks [SBUX:US] will debut reusable plastic cups for iced drinks for 106 of its 1,700 stores in Japan starting on April 18, as reported by Nikkei Asia on March 17. The multinational coffee chain announced that it will further reduce the use of disposable plastics in its product packaging and stores in Japan. In addition to the reusable cups, another 113 Starbucks outlets in Japan will offer dine-in iced drinks without lids before promoting this service to other regions of the country in summer. However, the company will still serve take-away drinks and hot beverages with lids.
Starbucks is undertaking this initiative as consumers increasingly call on global businesses to reduce plastic waste and pay attention to companies’ green credentials. Starbucks eliminated plastic straws in its outlets around the world by 2020 and replaced them with paper-based straws. The shift is anticipated to reduce more than 1bn plastic straws per year. Furthermore, the company launched a global reusable campaign last September, where it provided one free, reusable, and recyclable cup to each of its customers and offered them discounted drinks whenever they bring their reusable cups for purchases. In the Asia-Pacific region, the campaign gave out around 2m reusable cups within the first day of launch. With these measures, Starbucks aims to halve its waste and carbon emissions from direct operation by 2030. Similarly, China’s major restaurant operator, Yum China [9987:HK], aims to cut its use of environmentally harmful plastics by almost a third over the five years.