Iced tea franchise Chatime will eliminate single-use plastic from all 125 of its national locations by next year.

Dubbed “Project Happy Turtle”, the scheme will see Chatime move from plastic to paper straws; introduce compostable cups and lids from BioPak; and sell reusable cups across the entire chain.

Carlos Antonius, CEO of Chatime, said the company wants to be part of the solution to the environmental problem of plastic pollution.

“Project Happy Turtle will see us trial new products and solutions as we aim to phase out single-use plastic by 2020.

“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.”

During the paper straw trial at all Chatime’s stores, customers will have a choice between the current plastic straw and the new paper alternative, which is made with FSC-certified paper from managed plantations.

Compostable cups and lids are also already being trialled at the UTS and Murdoch sites, which will be expanded to a total of 10 sites next February. Chatime has teamed up with a contractor to collect used cups and lids and send them to industrial compost facilities.

“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.

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

The finished paper straws will be rolled out nationally in January, followed by a trial of compostable cup seals alongside the 10-store compostable cup and lid trial in February. Chatime anticipates launching compostable cups and seals and four-cup cardboard holders nationally, including in-store collection of used items for composting, by July.

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