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Seven-Eleven Japan to Use Bioplastics for Rice Ball Packaging

June 24, 2019

Tokyo- Major Japanese convenience store chain Seven-Eleven Japan Co. plans to use environmentally friendly biomass plastic packaging for all "onigiri" rice balls sold at its outlets, company officials said Monday.

In a shift to biomass plastics, which contain plant-derived materials, Seven-Eleven Japan aims to curb carbon dioxide emissions by reducing the amount of petroleum-derived materials used in its products, the officials said.

The company sells some 2.27 billion onigiri annually. It already started using biomass-based packaging in 2017 for its hand-rolled onigiri, which account for 30 to 40 pct of all its onigiri products.

It plans to expand the use of such materials for all its onigiri by the end of July at the earliest.

Some of its bread products already use the biomass plastic packaging.

Seven-Eleven Japan, under the wing of Seven & i Holdings Co., did not disclose the proportion of plastic-derived material used in the biomass plastics. If the convenience store chain uses biomass plastics for all of its onigiri products, it is expected to be able to reduce the annual amount of petroleum-derived plastics by about 260 tons and CO2 emissions by 403 tons.

Among other Japanese convenience store operators, FamilyMart Co. started using biomass plastics for packaging its salad products in 2007. Lawson Inc. <2651> also uses such plastics for some of its products, including salads. Jiji Press