Media Releases | 1st Dec, 2004

Juices putting squeeze on environment

Wednesday, 1 December 2004

Thirsty consumers are being fooled by misleading green claims made by the booming juice bar market, the state’s peak environment group warned today.

Two of Victoria’s leading juice retailers, Boost Juice and Feeling Fruity Juice Co – which dominate the lucrative drink business – have been singled out by Environment Victoria for their burgeoning amounts of damaging waste.

“These companies claim to have strong green credentials but in reality they are leaving a serious environmental legacy,” said EV’s Zero Waste Campaigner Jenny Henty.

“The booming trade in juices means they are not just creating ever-increasing mountains of waste but this waste is coming from cups that are made from a material that cannot be recycled. It’s a double whammy.”

An Environment Victoria survey of Boost and Feeling Fruity has revealed that Melbourne’s CBD outlets use a minimum of 800 cups in lunchtime alone. One retail outlet reported they use 3000 polystyrene containers and 3000 lids and straws per week. “These drinks are all adding to landfill. They take just five minutes to drink but take 500-plus years to break down,” said Ms Henty.

“Consumers have fully embraced the idea of reusing shopping bags with little hassle. If we can do it with plastic bags then we can do it with refillable cups. Even paper cups would be a better option as they are recyclable.
“Most importantly industry must take the lead. It’s great, for instance, that Boost founder Janine Allis – Victoria’s Businesswoman of the Year – has considered the environment, but that consideration is not well-informed and lacks a sincere understanding of the issue.”

Ms Henty said the survey comes in advance of a meeting between Australia’s environment ministers this Friday in which they will discuss the future of packaging and its ramifications for recycling. The meeting will focus on the National Packaging Covenant, a voluntary industry agreement to cut down on waste.

“The Covenant has been an embarrassing failure, it is ineffective and irresponsible, making no inroads into the scourge of waste, as demonstrated by juice bars. It should either be abandoned or be combined with policies that reduce waste. Ministers should not kowtow to mates in industry; this is crunch time to show green leadership.”

Download the report: Packaging Stewardship in Juice Retailing