Convenience stores join war against plastic packaging
Convenience store chains are strengthening eco-friendly initiatives in the new year as the demand for disposable goods has declined in recent years with rising environmental consciousness.
BGF Retail, operator of CU convenience stores, announced on Tuesday that it will replace disposable goods with eco-friendly products this year.
Eight types of disposable items, including paper cups and dishes, will be replaced with eco-friendly products made with unbleached pulp, which makes recycling easier. Kraft paper, designed for packaging products, will be used to make eco-friendly paper cups.
Less plastic will be used to package these products, according to BGF Retail.
The move is in line with the decreasing sales of disposable goods at CU.
The sales growth of disposable goods has been falling every year since 2016, when the on-year sales growth of disposable goods stood at 11.7 percent. The figure declined to 8.8 percent in 2017, 5.5 percent in 2018 and turned to minus 2.5 percent in 2019. The growth declined further last year to minus 3.1 percent.
Similar trends were observed at GS25.
The on-year sales growth of disposable items at GS25 has declined since 2017. The growth was 15 percent in 2017 and 11.6 percent in 2018, then minus 1.5 percent in 2019 and minus 0.2 percent last year.
“Considering that the growth has started to decline dramatically in 2019, falling disposable goods sales does not seem like a direct result of the Covid-19, which has kept more people at home,” said Kim Ha-yan a spokesperson for GS Retail. “The continuous rollout of environmentally friendly campaigns as well as the encouragement of tumbler use at workplaces seem to have affected the sales of disposable items at convenience stores.”
To respond to the growing eco-friendly trend, GS25 and 7-Eleven are using polylactide, a renewable thermoplastic and a polymer processed from the starch of plants, for some of its products.
7-Eleven recently started utilizing a sushi meal package with eco-friendly packaging made with polylactide, and might use it for other products, while GS25 started using polylactide for ice cream last year.
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]