Have you ever considered how many disposable coffee cups we use annually? The truth is extremely shocking. Despite efforts to reduce waste, such as Starbucks Japan’s reusable mug service, an estimated 369.5 million disposable cups were still used by major coffee chains in Japan in 2020. This is equivalent to approximately one million paper and plastic cups per day.
In a recent study, Greenpeace Japan, an environmental protection organization combating global environmental problems, revealed these figures. The study examined the use of disposable cups at nine of Japan’s largest coffee chains: Starbucks Coffee Japan, Tully’s Coffee, Pronto, Doutor, Caffe Veloce, Excelsior Caffe, Ueshima Coffee House, Cafe de Crim, and Komeda’s Coffee.
Can you imagine the appearance of 369,500,000 disposable cups? According to the report, if these cups were stacked, they would weigh over 2,808 tonnes and equal approximately 60,000 Tokyo Skytrees.
Not only do disposable plastic and paper cups pollute city streets and the ocean, but they are also difficult to recycle, so the majority of them are incinerated after a single use. Greenpeace Japan has created an online petition to request that Starbucks, Tully’s Coffee, and Pronto serve coffee in an eco-friendly manner that uses fewer disposable cups in order to combat this issue.
The petition presents three primary requests to these coffee chains: establish realistic waste reduction goals, use mugs and glasses in-store, and encourage more individuals to bring their own cups for takeaway beverages or introduce returnable reusable cups.