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Paper sugar packs for iced drinks to reduce waste in Japan, where plastic syrup packs are the norm

8 Comments
By grape Japan

If you haven't visited Japan before, you may wonder how sugar in paper packs could possibly be presented as a new idea, let alone a new product.

Of course, Japan does have sugar in paper packs and, in some cafes and restaurants, even paper-wrapped sugar cubes -- for hot drinks.

But when it comes to iced tea or iced coffee, Japanese people are used to finding individual packs of gum syrup like the ones pictured below to sweeten their cold beverage of choice:

gumsyrup.jpg
Photo: mizuki | © PIXTA

In many countries outside of Japan, you may find pitchers of syrup or liquid sweetener at some coffee shop chains, but you're not as likely to find little plastic packs of liquid sweetener right next to the individual packs of creamer or half-and-half.

Of course, it's convenient to have individual packs of gum syrup, especially when you want to take that iced tea or iced coffee to go. However, with Japan's growing interest in SDGs and, in particular, the problem of plastic waste, it was only a matter of time before someone noticed the disadvantages of using all those plastic containers.

Iced drink sugar by ForestPacks Co.

That was the thinking behind a quick-dissolving sugar from Forest Packs Co, a Japanese company specializing in packaged sugar and confectionery. Their new "Ice Drink Sugar" is an eco-friendly sugar that dissolves easily in cold drinks.

The sugar they use is a particular formulation of granulated sugar often used to sweeten yogurt, etc, and is easily dissolved in cold drinks. It comes in a paper package, which contributes to reducing plastic waste, and has no expiration date, which contributes to reducing food loss.

iceddrinksugar_1.jpg

Advantages

Paper packs tackle plastic waste by replacing plastic sweetener packs

No expiration date, eliminating waste and reducing food loss.

A 5 g packet of "Iced Drink Sugar" has about the same sweetness as 8 g of gum syrup

Doesn't stick to hands or table tops, so it's hygienic and mess-free

All natural. No artificial sweeteners which can ruin the taste of your drink

Commitment to SDGs

In their ongoing commitment to SDGs, Forest Packs Co. plans to donate a portion of their sales of their Iced Drink Sugar to the Japan Environment Association's Children's Eco Club.

Product Information

Name: Iced Drink Sugar

Price: 5,184 yen (tax included) per box (8 yen per pack)

Contents: 1 box = 600 packs (5g x 120 pieces x 5 bags)

Online sales: Yahoo! ShoppingBASE

Read more stories from grape Japan.

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© grape Japan

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

8 Comments
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Sweet!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Which is healthier gum syrup or sugar in paper packs?

Some early research,

https://summitsips.com/2013/11/gomme-syrup/

and ranking different sweeteners,

https://furthermore.equinox.com/articles/2015/04/sugar

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A drop in the bucket, given that this place is ground zero for the creation of disposable plastic waste worldwide. And don't think that separating your plastic trash does anything to help - plastic here is either burned, producing dioxin, or buried, where it remains for decades, if not longer. Virtually none of it is actually recycled.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Of course, it's convenient to have individual packs of gum syrup,

"Of course"? LOL. It's a lot more "convenient" to have the syrup in pitchers. You can adjust the exact volume to your liking without wasting any unused surplus amounts and there's no unwrapping and garbage to throw away afterward. Trust the Japanese to embrace the inconvenient and wasteful.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My answer to the problem. I don't use added sugar or gum syrup.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Who the heck uses Gum syrup? That's just nasty!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Would you like a plastic straw with that packet of sugar, Sir?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Would you like a plastic straw with that packet of sugar, Sir?

I've had paper straws a few times in other countries (not yet in Japan). The days of the plastic straw are numbered, although I hope they come up with a better solution than the ones I've tried.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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