Tainan adds three new free beverage cup-share service stations

09/14/2021 10:57 PM
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Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che (center) borrows a reusable cup via the Good to Go platform. Photo courtesy of Tainan City Government
Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che (center) borrows a reusable cup via the Good to Go platform. Photo courtesy of Tainan City Government

Taipei, Sept. 14 (CNA) Teaming up with fast food chain McDonald's Taiwan, the cup-share platform, Good to Go, on Tuesday launched three new service stations in Tainan where users can borrow and return reusable cups free of charge, according to the city government.

The three new Good to Go service stations were set up outside three McDonald's branches on Daxue Road, Ximen Road and Section 2 of Dongmen Road, the southern Taiwan city said.

At a press event at the branch on Daxue Road, Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲) said the cup-share platform is part of the city government's efforts to promote the circular economy while contributing to environmental protection.

Although the service is operated by a private company, it is currently free and fully funded by the city government.

The mayor thanked the fast food company and other partnered businesses for launching special promotions to encourage their customers to use the reusable cups provided by the platform.

According to McDonald's, customers who buy a drink or soup at any of its branches in Tainan with the Good to Go cup will be rewarded with three points on a point-accumulation card. Five points can be exchanged for a free drink worth NT$33 (US$1.1).

Lin Li-wen (林麗文), vice president of McDonald's supply chain management, said in a statement that the company is pleased to collaborate with the platform, adding that she hopes the use of reusable cups will become ubiquitous in the city.

Hsieh Shih-Chieh (謝世傑), director-general of the city's Environmental Protection Bureau, said McDonald's has a huge customer base and setting up the cup-share stations outside its branches will introduce more people to the platform.

The city recycled 4.78 million kilograms of disposable tableware in the first half of 2021, a year-on-year increase of nearly 400,000 kilograms compared with 2020, Hsieh said.

It is hoped that through the partnership with the fast food company, more people will use the reusable cups and thereby reduce the use of disposable ones, he added.

In addition to providing drinks to Good to Go users, the fast food company will also pay the electricity bills of the three new service stations, Hsieh said.

Last Longer Project, which developed and operates the cup-share platform, opened its first service station in 2019 and now has six stations across Tainan, with the financial support of the city government, the company said.

In order to use the cup-share service, users have to sign up at a service station, after which they can use up to six reusable cups at a time at either a station or a partnered beverage shop in the city, the company said.

Users are required to return the cups within six days of their use at one of the six stations or 50 partnered shops, the company said, otherwise, their membership will be suspended until the cups are returned, it added.

According to the company, both the cups, which come in two sizes, and their lids are made of Polypropylene, and each cup can be used 300-500 times before being discarded.

Speaking about the hygienic condition of the cups, the company said the cleaning service it works with cleans and disinfects used cups in line with the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration standards.

(By Yu Hisao-han and Teng Pei-ju)

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