How Good is the “Greener Cafe” Campaign?

Recently, South Korea and other countries began to kick off the “Greener Cafe” policy to reduce the amount of plastic wastes. This campaign was designed to minimize the amount of plastic going to waste by banning the use of plastic cups for in-store customers in cafes such as Starbucks, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Ediya Coffee, etc… With this new rule in mind, drinks in plastic cups were only served to customers who ordered “take out”; customers who were caught in store with the “take out” plastic cup, however, would be fined 20,000 won (equivalent to $2439 SGD).

Starbucks Korea has begun to adopt the “Greener Starbucks” Campaign. Photo Courtesy of Starbucks Korea 

Ever since this policy was implemented, there have been many reactions from the public. But the real question still remains unanswered: what exactly is the “greener cafe” campaign and how good is it?

The “Greener Cafe” Campaign

Recognizing the massive amount of plastic gone to waste, as well as the difficulty of recycling plastic straw, many cafes have joined in this campaign. In fact, Starbucks headquarters in South Korea reported that through their participation in this environmentally friendly campaign, the company would be able to reduce around 126 tons of plastic waste yearly.

Plastic waste has become a significant problem within the past few years.  Photo Courtesy of Phys.org

When asked about the participation in Starbucks’ “Green Starbucks Korea CEO Lee Seok Koo answered, “an eco-friendly business operation is not an option, but mandatory for all companies.” While Starbucks was the first cafe in South Korea to participate in this program, many other cafes have joined this movement ever since, successfully beginning their initial steps towards environmental conservation.

So if this policy is really useful, should it be implemented in Singapore as well?

Multiple Perspectives

As expected, there are multiple perspectives on this issue: those who prioritize the enhancement of an eco-friendly environment, and others who prioritize convenience and efficiency. 

When asked about her perspective on the “Greener Cafe” Campaign, junior Evelyn Zhang stated,  “I think it’s really good and it should definitely be brought to Singapore as well because it’s setting up an example for other companies to be more proactive in environmental conservation.”

Some people advocate for the ban of plastic straws. 
Photo Courtesy of Arirang News

On the other hand, however, a junior who chose to remain anonymous, stated, “I think cafes have gone a little too overboard– banning plastic cups for in-store customers can be seen as a nuisance because some people prefer the plastic cups since they are more convenient, effecient, and even aesthetically pleasing.” 

The “Greener Cafe” campaign requires effort and cooperation from everyone. 
Photo courtesy of Google Images

Clearly, the implementation of the “Greener Cafe” campaign and policies require a lot of effort. Not only do individuals need to be cooperative and understanding about cafes’ rules to ban disposable plastic cups for in-store customers, but they need to think for the world and environment the future generation will live in. The “Greener Cafe” has offered a range of advantages and disadvantages to different people thus far, and it is yet to be determined how effective this campaign actually is. If so, when will Singapore be ready to mandate this “Greener Cafe” campaign?

Author: Brenda Lee

Brenda Lee is currently a junior, and this is her first year as a reporter for The Eye. This is her sixth year studying in Singapore American School, and despite coming from a Korean, American, and Hong Kong background, she considers Singapore her home. In her free time, she loves to indulge in bubble tea and consume food from all kinds of cuisine. In addition, she finds happiness in travelling around the globe and exposing herself to different cultures. She can be contacted at lee45288@sas.edu.sg.

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