Chatime to eliminate single-use plastic by 2020

By Nick Hall | 25 Oct 2019 View comments

Fresh off claiming the International Franchisor of the Year gong at the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) awards, bubble tea chain Chatime is tackling another big issue. In an announcement on Thursday, Chatime unveiled plans to eliminate single use plastic from all 125 locations nationally by 2020.

The Chatime plastic-free push comes in a response to growing consumer awareness and environmental consciousness. Over the past 18 months, several franchise chains have introduced environmental initiatives, such as Muffin Break’s coffee cup recycling program.

Carlos Antonius, Chatime CEO said that the chain’s predominantly youth market was driving the new implementation.

“Plastic pollution is a massive environmental problem and we want to be part of the solution,” Antonius said.

“Many of our customers have told us that they love Chatime but are keen for us to find alternatives to single-use plastic. We want them to continue to enjoy the great taste and quality of Chatime tea, so finding practical solutions is really important.”

Unpacking the Chatime ‘Project Happy Turtle’ campaign

Aptly titled ‘Project Happy Turtle’, the Chatime plastic-free movement will see the bubble tea franchise trial a series of new products and solutions to phase out single-use plastic by 2020.

Starting small, the chain on Thursday introduced a specially designed paper straw in all 125 outlets. While cafés and fast food chains have been able to leverage a paper straw for some time, the tapioca pearls and mix-ins for which bubble tea is famous has made the implementation far more challenging.

Additionally, the bubble tea business has introduced compostable cups and lids at two Sydney locations, with a 10-location trial to follow in February 2020.

The nationwide implementation will be a challenge, however Antonius revealed that a partnership with Biopak would help to streamline the initiative.

“We anticipate that by leading the way we will increase demand for compost facilities for these types of products and help create a more sustainable community,” said Antonius.

“Our aim is to have happy customers and a happy planet.”

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