Though SS15’s bubble tea street has become known as the cause of the popular student area’s jams, it’s now posing another problem that can very much be solved through simple solutions.
Christine Chen recently shared an image to the Zero Waste Malaysia Facebook group that was taken by her aunt. The image depicts a large industrial rubbish bin located in SS15 overflowing with empty plastic bubble tea cups that are clearly a hazard to the environment due to the heavy use of plastic to keep up with the demand for ever more milky goodness.
My aunt shared this in our group chat. SS15 bubble tea street. I think we should all be more aware of the waste that we are creating. Hopefully everyone can do their part to help reduce waste!
Posted by Christine Chen on Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Many have since voiced out their concerns and have suggested solutions such as banning single-use plastic cups, bringing their own tumblers to reduce cup use, and even banning bubble tea stores in general as the sugary drinks also add to the risk of diabetes.
Certain bubble tea vendors do encourage customers to bring their own cups and bottles by giving out discounts to those who do, though one netizen has pointed out that bubble tea big shots The Alley do not accept customer-brought bottles or tumblers as they use their own plastic cups to keep track of their profits.
So, inspired by the constant growing list of potential solutions, we’ve decided to note down some ideas that might possibly be able to stop the spread of one-time-use plastic cups once and for all (hopefully).
1. Bubble tea vendors should have two separate menus
One for those who bring their own bottles and tumblers and one with ridiculously high prices for those who don’t. If a consumer is willing to spend an average of RM13 for a drink they’ll probably finish in a matter of minutes, double prices just for single-use plastic cups sounds fair. If a customer is truly devoted the vendor, they’ll come back with their own bottles and tumblers to enjoy the normal prices.
2. Limit the amount of bubble tea stores
As many netizens have pointed out, bubble tea stores not only contribute to the ever-growing plastic waste problem, but also to diabetes. Authorities should select those vendors who do not contribute via environmentally favourable practices to be shut down, limiting the number of bubble tea vendors to only those who actually assist in reducing plastic waste.
3. Fine or charge consumers for the disposal of one-time-use plastic cups
There should be a law to protect our already dying environment by either fining or charging one-time plastic cup users for disposal of their waste. This method might be difficult in the sense that authorities will have to be present in areas that have high bubble tea cup disposal, but I also believe that it’ll be more difficult to deal with the mountain of plastic waste we’ll have to deal with if we don’t do something about it.
There’s no point trying to shut down the bubble tea industry over this (mainly because bubble tea fans are just as scary as Kpop fans), but we can try to implement methods that are a win-win situation for everyone including our planet.
Christine’s post has since been shared over 2,000 times.
To all the bubble tea fans out there, please don’t kill me.
Also read: You Can Now Drink Bubble Tea & Save the Environment With This New Straw-less Boba Cup