FamilyMart to Ditch Disposable Plasticware Ahead of Japanese Ordinance

The effort could eventually remove 260 tons of plastic from the retailer’s 16,000 stores in Japan.

March 14, 2022

Plastic Forks

TOKYO—FamilyMart is removing plastic forks and sporks from its convenience stores in Japan ahead of a Japanese ordinance that requires certain businesses to reduce the use of disposable plastic items, reports Japan Today. The ordinance says that companies that used more than five tons of disposable plastic items are subject to the measure.

FamilyMart will remove the plasticware in 10 stores to start, and then will consider expanding the removal to 16,000 stores in Japan after determining customer feedback. The disposable plastic will be replaced with more biodegradable plastic cutlery and non-plastic chopsticks, and the retailer will sell forks, spoons and chopsticks made of bamboo.

If the ordinance is implemented in all FamilyMart stores in the country, the retailer estimates that 260 tons of plastic usage a year would be reduced.

Convenience retailers in the U.S. are also turning to sustainable packaging to keep food and drinks fresh and warm. The Hub convenience chain, based in North Dakota, is converting from branded foam cups to paper cups that degrades much faster than foam. Read more about c-store’s packaging sustainability efforts in Package Deal.