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Image: Muji

Muji announces switch from PET bottles to aluminum cans


Japanese retailer Mujirushi Ryouhin, often shortened to Muji, sells a wide range of items that include stationery, furniture, and even food, with a theme of no-frill minimalism (their name translates to "no logo goods"). Recently, Ryohin Keikaku, the company that operates Muji, seems to be showing an initiative to be more environmentally conscious (and accommodating of diets) by offering alternative protein sources such as a plant-based meat lineup that requires no refrigeration.

That initiative appears to be continuing as Ryohin Keikaku has announced that as of April 23, Muji stores started doing away with PET bottles and switching to aluminum cans for a number of their beverages in an order accommodate sustainable development goals and address plastic waste.

The following beverages will now be available exclusively in aluminum cans from Muji stores.

Caffeine-free Green Rooibos Tea

Caffeine-free Rooibos & Black Bean Tea

Caffeine-free Corn Tea

Decaffeinated Muscat & Rooibos

Caffeine-free Black Bean Tea

Jasmine Tea

Oolong Tea

100% fruit juice soda Apple

100% fruit juice soda Grape

100% fruit juice soda Tangerine

Soda made from 100% fruit juice

Ginger ale with domestic ginger

In addition, in order to reduce plastic waste, Muji will expand a water supply service started in July 2020 by installing water dispensers in stores. The service is currently being offered at 270 stores, with plans to introduce the service to all 460 stores by the end of 2021.


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Many Muji products are cool looking, versatile and reasonably priced yet, sadly, a simple Google or, “Baidu” search will tell us the country of origin and we’re left questioning if we really need the item.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This is a good move and one that has bugged me. The recycling rate for aluminum cans is going to be way higher than PET bottles. I suspect many PET bottles in Japan are "recycled" for heat (i.e., burnt).

Aluminum is as light as PET, a major advantage over glass and doesn't break. One aluminum can is worth over 1 yen, which makes them valuable enough to collect.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Good move but too little too late for me. Muji is still plastic junk paradise selling everything i dont need.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The water bottles market is something I don't understand. Why is the biggest bottle a 2L? That means I have to buy 6 -7 every week. Wish there was a 5 or 6 gallons available, that I could trade for another one after I finish that water every week.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Aluminum is far more recyclable but the carbon emissions to produce an aluminum bottle can be up to 3 or 4 times the plastic equivalent. There is no silver bullet, only trade offs.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Exactly M3M3M3.... I agree. It takes a lot more of efforts, resources and energy to produce aluminum goods.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Doesn't this firm affirm its support for the CCP and Chinese genocide of Uyghurs?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Coke in a thick glass bottle rocks. I hate the taste of pet bottles, but they sure have gotten lighter these past few years. Used to be very difficult to cut through to make for tighter recycling. Now they crush so easily.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why does Japan always insist on calling them PET bottles? Well, yes, I know they are technically made from PET, but so are strawberry cases and all kinds of things. No one says "PET cases" and how many people throw out strawberry cases on the "PET bottle" collection days? Woe betide any translators who opt for the translation "plastic bottle" (as most native-English-speakers would describe them); the checker-san will want a word with you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cold drinks in thin aluminum will go warm pretty quickly, so I guess there will be a follow-on market for various bottle jackets.

I wonder if Muji encourages reuse, refilling the empty bottle with water from these dispensers mentioned in the article. (?)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

showing an initiative to be more environmentally conscious (and accommodating of diets) by offering alternative protein sources such as a plant-based meat lineup that requires no refrigeration.

If you want to sell soy burgers and soy meat balls, then go ahead. But unless milk and eggs grow on trees, please don't call your products 'plant-based'. I've seen the list of ingredients. Another case of a Japanese company jumping on the bandwagon, but not knowing where the bandwagon is going.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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