A pilot project to trial reusable cups in cinemas has been launched in South Korea by a packaging company and several Korean cinema operators. Podeuk, a tableware rental and cleaning startup is partnering multiplex majors CJ CGV and Lotte Cultureworks, as well as individual cinemas. The pilot project will take place in five locations located in Cheongju-si: CGV Cheongju West Gate, Cheongju Gwell City, Cheongju Yulryang, Lotte Cinema Seocheongju (outlet), and Cheongju Lava.
During the pilot, customers will buy soda and other cold beverages in reusable cups instead of disposable ones. These can then be returned to a receptacle where they are collected, washed, and re-supplied to the cinema. In its efforts to embrace and communicate sustainability, CJ CGV is also switching popcorn tubs to eco-friendly materials in ten cinemas nationwide and then to all of its Korean cinemas within a year:
The eco-friendly material of the popcorn container was made to be easily recycled by applying a water-based coating instead of the existing plastic-based polyethylene (PE) coating and minimizing the printing area. In the future, CJ CGV plans to sequentially change medium-sized popcorn containers and cola cups to eco-friendly materials.
CJ CGV added a theater with multi-use cups that were pilot-introduced in CGV Deungchon and Hongdae last year.
Similar efforts are underway by Lotte, which is looking at everything from offering milk substitution for its coffee drinks to switching to paper straws. Pilot partner Podeuk is already providing multi-use cup rental/washing services to Korean companies such as Kookmin Card, as well as cinema locations such as Lotte Cinema Pyeongchon and Konkuk University as of last year. The company is also responsible for washing multi-use cups in another pilot project in Seoul, in which Starbucks is participating.