Every year, ONE bubble tea shop sells a minimum of 50,000 cups.
That is equivalent to 50,000 single use plastic cups, lids, straws and bags going into landfill (as most public bins go straight to landfill).
Source: Facebook and Living Noamds
Many of us reading probably once made the decision to stop drinking bubble tea for this reason.
Plastics choke hundreds of wildlife, mix with our food supply, and affect our waterways.
For those who are not familiar with the term, bubble tea (or boba), is a cold Taiwanese tea-based drink with the recipe containing a milk tea flavour, sugar and some chewy toppings like sago.
Now the problem was not the drink itself but rather the fact that all bubble tea was served in a single-use plastic cup, with a single-use plastic straw and bag.
It doesn’t matter if you sit in the store to drink bubble tea - it is guaranteed. If you want to drink bubble tea, you have to throw a plastic cup in the bin - every, single, time.
Every major city in Australia has 60+ bubble tea stores. According to the owner of Utopia, WA, one store sells at least 150-200 cups a day (and that is for a bad day). Another bubble tea shop owner of Tea Macchiato, also agreed to this number.
That means around 50,000 cups from one shop alone, and at least 3 million disposable plastic cups AND straws, are thrown away from one city alone. And that's only the bare minimum!
If you think it's already bad that Australia alone is sending hundred millions of plastic to landfill, imagine how much more bubble tea Asia drinks. And then think - where do these single-use plastic go?
Why Glass Over Plastic?
When we were deciding on our reusable cup collections, we decided to only sell glass cups (with the exception of some lids made with hard recyclable BPA-free plastic).
Here are 6 reasons why we decided on this:
1. Glass does not contain harmful chemicals e.g. BPA, phthalates, PVC or polycarbonate.
Unlike glass, plastic leech toxic chemicals into the environment as time passes. Sometimes, they break down into micro plastics and pollute our water ways and oceans. This is why biodegradable plastics are arguably bad, but that's another story for later.
Since glass has an almost zero rate of chemical interactions, products inside a glass bottle keep their flavor, strength and aroma.
This is why many zero wasters encourage people to save all their empty jars for reuse.
2. Glass tastes better than plastic.
We heard from many water and coffee drinkers that plastic leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth, and we figured that will be the same for boba too.
3. Plastic costs cheaper and therefore, many companies are turning reusable goods into promotional "freebie" items.
Think about it - how many "free" coffee cups do you now find in a merch bag from a conference, the bank or university?
As a result, these "freebies" cause another issue where the product goes to the wrong person (e.g. non-coffee drinker) and the product is a form of waste, hidden in the corner of a cupboard.
4. Glass can ALWAYS be recycled, plastic's life cycle eventually ends.
Glass can be recycled over and over again where as plastic looses integrity after each use, and therefore isn't truly recyclable.
In other words, plastic can only be downcycled, meaning it becomes an item of lesser quality.
It will never be the same item again.
Eventually, this leads it to become a waste item that is no longer recyclable and destined to end up in a landfill, or the environment.
5. Glass makes you feel stylish.
You will be more willing to use your glass cups than plastic, because it makes you feel good, more stylish and classier. Perfect for your work or weekend vibes!
6. Consumers' attitude with plastic is wrong.
While plastic can be recycled (downcycled), many people do not see plastic that way and result to throwing plastic in the red bin.
This is why we have decided to go with glass, and we will be looking to work with different types of glass to give bubble tea drinkers the best collections ever!
KINOI Cup Alternatives
If you are on a budget or do not care for "stylish" cups, then here are EVEN better alternatives you can use that's probably hidden in your cupboards!
1. Protein Shaker Bottles
These huge bottles fit large bubble tea sizes and can fit your 12mm bubble tea reusable straw too!
2. Glass Jam Jars
We LOVE repurposing! Although most of these jars are either 300ml, sometimes you might have a 500ml that you are using. Save these jars and use it for homemade bubble tea, or a small/regular bubble tea size!
What else can you use KINOI for?
KINOI is perfect for any cold drink, or even to put your snacks in there!
1. Other Cold Drinks
Smoothies, juice, ice coffee, milk shakes, detox tea, water.
2. Other Snacks
Nuts, cut up fruit, muesli, acai, ICE CREAM.