The minimalist home goods, apparel, and food chain enacts a plan to be more environmentally conscious.

As of April 23, Japanese retailer Muji has stopped selling beverages in plastic bottles at all store locations nationwide. Certain drink products will be discontinued once their stock is depleted while the packaging for 12 remaining products has been converted into aluminum cans.

▼ Muji’s 12 new aluminum cans, composed of seven teas and five soft drinks

Plastic bottles, known as “PET bottles” in Japan as an abbreviation for polyethylene terephthalate (a lightweight plastic belonging to the polyester family), are commonly sold everywhere from supermarkets to the country’s ubiquitous vending machines. While there are pros and cons to using both types of materials, aluminum is more easily recyclable and has a higher reuse rate than plastic.

▼ Muji’s sodas are now sold in stout 200-milliliter (6.7-ounce) cans.

According to data from the Japan Aluminum Can Recycling Association, within Japan 97.9 percent of aluminum cans are recycled with an approximately 66.9 percent horizontal (can-to-can) recycling rate. Muji has stated that aluminum cans will also protect the drinks’ contents from light and therefore extend their shelf life–cutting down not only on plastic waste but expired products as well.

▼ Muji teas now come in 375-milliliter (6.7-ounce) cans.

It’s encouraging to see such a big retailer taking steps to become more environmentally responsible, joining the ranks of other chains in Japan that are currently working hard to reduce plastic waste.

For more ways that Japan is striving to be more environmentally friendly, you can read about the Ministry of the Environment’s newly crafted bill banning free plastic forks and spoons here.

Source: Livedoor News via Otakomu
Images: PR Times
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