TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Japan’s convenience store giant, 7-Eleven Japan, announced on Monday (June 24) it will begin wrapping its onigiri rice balls in biomass plastic wraps from July, reported Nikkei.
Convenience stores in Japan have become leaders in reducing the use of fossil-fuel-derived materials. FamilyMart, for example, has replaced some of its plastic containers with plant-derived plastics.
There are 21,000 7-Eleven stores across Japan that sell 2.27 billion rice balls every year. By using bioplastic wraps, the company could reduce the use of traditional plastics by 260 tons and cut CO2 emissions by 403 tons per year.
Some of the rice ball wraps will be made of sugarcane-derived materials, a first among convenience stores in Japan. Although the new wrapping materials will cost more, the company said prices will remain the same.
7-Eleven Japan intends to replace the use of plastic containers with biomass or biodegradable plastics in 50 percent of its own private-label products by 2030. The ultimate goal is zero use of fossil-fuel-derived plastic containers by 2050.