Recently, The Coffee House, a major coffee chain in Vietnam has been replacing its glass mugs and cups with single-use plastic takeaway cups, for both takeaway and stay-in customers. This is a huge step back for the chain as well as the overall F&B industry in Vietnam, as The Coffee House was once famous for its green effort.
This recent change of The Coffee House brings a shock to many people, especially young people, as with more than 100 stores in major cities in Vietnam, thousands of plastic cups will be added to the current huge amount of plastic trash in Vietnam. By 2019, The Coffee House had served more than 26 million customers, with the massive growth after Covid-19, the increase in used plastic cups will be so much more. In the old time, The Coffee House had some major milestones in their role as a green pioneer in the traditional F&B industry in Vietnam, with their biodegradable straws, or a collection of goodies for environment lovers. The switch to 100% plastic cups has completely washed away all of their efforts since the establishment, without doubt, loosing a great amount of young customers (including me!).
In Vietnam, the average amount of plastic waste discharged into the environment every day is about 2,500 tons, of which the volume of plastic waste discharged into the sea fluctuates between 0.28-0.73 million tons/year. With a low price, as low as 2p per cup, Vietnamese is over-consuming single-use plastic cups without thinking about the huge negative environmental problems. The other two major drink chains in Vietnam, Phuc Long and Highland, have always been using plastic cups for all customers, hence, with this new change of The Coffee House, the future for a greener F&B industry seems more dull than ever before.
Meanwhile, you can Bring Your Own mugs or bottles when you go out, or support local coffee shops where you can easily ask them to serve your drinks in glass cups!
Bye bye, The Coffee House!