TAIPEI, Taiwan—7-Eleven Taiwan will eliminate single-use plastic across all operations by 2050, Packaging Gateway reports. The company, which is the largest c-store chain in Taiwan, will lower usage of such plastic by 10% each year. Within two years, the chain will have less than 20% of single-use plastics across all packaging, with further reductions to hit just 10% by 2028.
If these targets are achieved, 7-Eleven Taiwan will be Asia’s first c-store to stop use of single-use plastics. The chain has debuted several trial programs to reduce plastic waste, such as a cup rental machine and reusable delivery package return stations. In March, 7-Eleven Inc. Global released their 2020 Sustainability Report, which highlighted the company’s achievements of making significant progress reducing CO2 emissions in stores by 20% by 2027, seven years earlier than expected.
Greenpeace East Asia and the Taiwan National Cheng Kung University Department of Environmental Engineering conducted an investigation on the retailer last year, reporting that its Taipei City and Kaohsiung stores contributed 15,000 tons of plastic waste annually.
“7-Eleven’s announcement is a milestone not only for plastic reduction efforts in Taiwan but also across Asia,” said Suzanne Lo, Greenpeace East Asia plastics campaigner. “It shows that retailers can take bold action to cut down on plastic waste, including beverage containers, food packaging, and delivery waste. But 2050 is a long way off and the timeline must be sped up. And while we are proud that the plastic-free initiative started in Taiwan, it needs to be scaled up to all 7-Eleven stores globally.”
Lo said the group would “continue to track 7-Eleven’s progress and are looking to see solutions based in reuse and reduction, rather than substituting plastics with other single-use materials.”
Other retailers, including Family Mart and the food delivery service Foodpanda, have also announced plastic reduction and recycling programs in Taiwan. In Japan, the government has urged all businesses to reduce and recycle plastic waste.
In NACS Magazine, writer Terri Allan dives into how retailers are finding more safe and sustainable packaging in “Sustainable-and Safe.” To learn more about how convenience stores are tackling sustainability, listen to “Sustainability Strategy for People, Planet, Prosperity and Convenience,” a part of the Convenience Matters podcast.