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Pioneering Collaboration with Convenience Stores to Reduce Plastic Use: Taoyuan Cherishes the Environment with the Re-usable Cup Program

Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan demonstrated the use of recycling cups at a FamilyMart and 7-ELEVEN store in the campus of the City Hall this morning (21st). From today on, the partner convenience stores will take the initiative to provide re-usable containers for consumers to use. The Taoyuan City Re-usable Cup 2.0 model offers three main features, with recycling cups on display in convenience stores for consumers to choose from, easy rental and returns with the scan of a mobile phone and the option to return the cups to the store at any time. In terms of container safety and hygiene, there are three major safety features: the material conforms to the national food container regulations, the cleaning and sterilization conforms to the Ministry of Health and Welfare's good practice guidelines for tableware cleaning as well as liability insurance for testing guarantees. The distribution process is fully sealed and zero contact processes are enforced so that consumers can avail of the use of the cups with peace of mind, thus cultivating the habit of using environmentally friendly re-usable containers to gradually achieve the goal of reducing disposable paper cups and plastic cups.

 

During the event, Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan pointed out that Taoyuan City has been actively promoting the concepts of "circular economy" and "smart city" as well as other environmental sustainability concepts, into "urban logistics" and "Green Heart Taoyuan" as the city's development goals. Last November, Taoyuan was the first city in the country to launch the Taoyuan Re-usable Container Rental System and is now launching and even more optimized 2.0 system. He expressed his gratitude to Family Mart and 7-ELEVEN for agreeing to be the first in the country to cooperate with Taoyuan City. The mayor also noted that within three months, the program will expand to 10 stores and counsel the City Hall Store to become the first zero-disposable cup demonstration convenience store in the country and amend the low-carbon green city ordinance to include beverage store chains and convenience stores that use a large number of disposable containers, requiring the stores to pro-actively provide re-usable cups. It is hoped that this movement would then be expanded into convenience stores in other counties and cities.
    

 

Lu Li-Teh, Director of the Taoyuan Environmental Protection Bureau, noted that the country's annual use of disposable paper and plastic cups is estimated at 1.8 billion units, which causes a huge environmental burden and impact through resource depletion. To reduce the number of disposable paper cups and plastic cups, it is still recommended that members of the public develop the habit of bringing their own cups. In the event that they don't, they can rent available re-usable cups. In terms of promoting relevant policies, the Taoyuan City Government has also initiated the process of amending the Low Carbon Green City Ordinance to regulate convenience stores, beverage stores and fast food stores to take the initiative to provide and encourage consumers to use reusable containers (bring-your-own eco-cups or renting re-usable cups) and to achieve a certain percentage of use year by year and reach the goal of becoming a plastic-free society by 2030, as set by the EPA.

 

In an official statement, FamilyMart stated that convenience stores are the closest contact points with consumers. In addition to satisfying consumers' needs, FamilyMart hopes to leverage the power of distribution channels to maximize social value. FamilyMart has always supported and promoted environmental sustainability. For this project, the chain has worked with the Taoyuan City Government to develop the first "re-usable container demonstration convenience store" in Taiwan at the FamilyMart Taoyuan City Hall Store. This not only responds to Taoyuan City's “Taoyuan Reusable Cup Program;” FamilyMart is also planning to introduce 100% decomposable bamboo fiber re-usable lunch boxes, inviting consumers to support environmental protection in the most convenient and rapid way through new choices in eco-friendly containers such as reusable cups and re-usable lunch boxes. It is expected that the "Taoyuan Re-usable Cup Program" will be extended to five other FamilyMart stores for trial runs, becoming a new model for joint collaboration between enterprises and local governments to promote environmental sustainability.

 

7-ELEVEN noted in its statement that it is committed to sustainable production and sales and has not provided drinking straws from 2019 onwards. It will also gradually launch trial programs such as sustainable re-usable packaging for online shopping and PET bottle recycling machines, among other sustainable trial projects for the consumer market. The company is also ahead of its peers in offering a bring-your-own-cup discount on the first day of every month that has increased from $3 to $5. In response to World Earth Day, in addition to collaborating on the “Taoyuan Reusable Cup Program,” more than 6,000 7-ELEVEN stores launched a 3-day "Reduce Consumption and Love the Earth for NT$7" campaign on April 21. Consumers who purchased designated beverages using their own cups received a NT$7 discount. The company is also committed to continuing various practices, such as environmental protection and plastic reduction, energy saving and carbon reduction, sustainable procurement and increasing food utilization rates, in order to move toward the goal of plastic-free and sustainable consumption.

 

The Department of Environmental Protection stated that  the Taoyuan Re-usable Cup 2.0 rental model can be utilized without requiring a deposit and is now offered with a re-usable cup body. It is currently being promoted for trial use on the first floor of the City Hall Building and at two convenience stores in front of the Building. A total of 500 re-usable cups are offered with a NT$10 discount voucher. Customers are invited to say "recycling cup" or "eco-cup" out loud when buying drinks, as an expression of love of the earth in one sentence. The way to rent a re-usable cup is by joining LINE account of “GoodtoGo,” tap on “Taoyuan Reusable Cup,” then choose between rental or return options, then scan the “QR Code” beeper at the counter to finish the process. Another option is to simply return the cup in a designated box directly at the store. When the program is extended to other stores, as long as there is a rental system in place, the re-usable cups can be returned to any store. In order to encourage consumers to experience the re-usable cup, convenience stores will continue to support the EPA program by offering NT$3 discounts for using the re-usable cups. 

 

The event today saw the attendance of Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan, Lai Ying-Ying, Director General of the Department of Waste Management of the EPA, Hsu Kuang-yu, Assistant Vice President of the 7-ELEVEN Management Group, Hsiao Ta-cheng, Director of the North 2 Sales Headquarters of FamilyMart and Director Lu Li-Teh of the Department of Environmental Protection of the Taoyuan City Government.

 

Pioneering Collaboration with Convenience Stores to Reduce Plastic Use: Taoyuan Cherishes the Environment with the Re-usable Cup Program

 

Pioneering Collaboration with Convenience Stores to Reduce Plastic Use: Taoyuan Cherishes the Environment with the Re-usable Cup Program

 

Pioneering Collaboration with Convenience Stores to Reduce Plastic Use: Taoyuan Cherishes the Environment with the Re-usable Cup Program

 

Pioneering Collaboration with Convenience Stores to Reduce Plastic Use: Taoyuan Cherishes the Environment with the Re-usable Cup Program

 

Pioneering Collaboration with Convenience Stores to Reduce Plastic Use: Taoyuan Cherishes the Environment with the Re-usable Cup Program

 

Pioneering Collaboration with Convenience Stores to Reduce Plastic Use: Taoyuan Cherishes the Environment with the Re-usable Cup Program