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And that’s about 60,000 stores spread all across the planet. 7-Eleven is, clearly, one of the largest international chains of convenience stores out there, although, seemingly with one of the smallest sense of responsibility for the planet it thrives on! In the west, North America alone has about 10,900 stores, while in the east, they boast of having more than 9,400 centres just in Thailand. But even that is far from the end of it. In between the east and the west, 7-Eleven has cropped up in about 18 countries which include Mexico, China, Thailand, Canada, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Macau, Australia, UAE, Norway, Philippines, Hong Kong, Sweden, Indonesia and Denmark.
That’s good news for 7-Eleven alright, but what aboutyou – how does this affect you? At the surface, although it might seem like they are a business that helps make your life more convenient, in reality, 7-Eleven has become a humongous source of plastic pollution across the globe. Read on, and you’ll be quite alarmed at the truth behind all the fancy, feel good marketing gimmicks they keep throwing in your face.
7-Eleven, being true to their company vision, have focussed stringently on becoming the best retailer across the globe, in terms of convenience. That’s great, yes? A big ‘NO’, if you care at all about the health of our planet and subsequently your health.
In keeping true to their vision, 7-Eleven has chosen to completely ignore the sheer amount of plastic pollution it spreads by having an inexcusable and careless store policy in place that actively promotes the use of more plastic. The 7-Eleven staff will pack all the items the customer brings to the cash counter into multiple plastic bags and then even slip in an unnecessary, although quite convenient, amount of additional plastic items such as plastic spoons, forks, cups and straws, regardless of whether the customer asked for or even needed it. Inevitably, in many cases, people don’t need it after all. Guess where all that plastic goes? Off to clog our drains or pollute the landfills and our oceans.
Sure, it might seem, as if I’m a bit too harsh on a business doing well, but wait till you consider some of these 7-Eleven statistics:
● In 2015, a new 7-Eleven outlet popped up every 2.5 hours.
● 6 million people visit a 7-Eleven every day in the United States, while in Thailand that number reaches 8 million, and these are not even the countries with the most number of 7-Eleven’s
● Most of these folks purchase food items that can be consumed immediately, which is in almost all cases, wrapped in plastic. ● About 1.1 million cups of coffee to go leaves the 7-Eleven every day along with plastic spoons and straws of course.
● To date, they have sent out almost 7.2 billion Slurpees in to go plastic cups. Add to that 7.2 billion plastic straw etc.
● Soda sales reach 45 million gallons every year. Guess in what they sell their soda?
Concerning plastic pollution, all of these milestones and accomplishments of 7-Eleven just points to the smoking gun in their hand. Most of these facts, you can find on the official 7-Eleven website itself!
What’s the big deal? It’s just plastic! Really? Do we even need to debate on this? Anyone with the slightest sense of awareness will know that the plastic pollution situation is already at a critical level. Ask any traveller backpacking through the ‘exotic’ lands of south east Asia, and they will all, without a doubt, attest to the fact that the plastic menace is way out of hand.
Europe alone uses over 100 billion plastic bags annually. Half of these bags are destined just for single use! Where does all this plastic go then? They enter the waterways and end up in the ocean or just sit in our landfills, literally, forever!
Just off the coast of California, plastic trash has collected on the ocean surface, forming a huge patch that is like a floating island of plastic debris – mockingly named the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This patch is, believe it or not, twice the size of Texas. And it’s not the only such patch. About five such garbage islands are floating threateningly on our ocean surface.
Yes, why should you care, right? Think again, because plastic is killing you, slowly but surely. And it’s poisoning your children and the generations to come. The plants and animals are of course the most immediate and helpless victims. But sitting proudly on top of the food chain, we will sooner or later consume them and eventually poison ourselves by our own hands. It’s not a prediction. Plastic has already entered our systems. Years of abuse we have inflicted upon the planet has finally come around to bite us. Need more proof of this cancer that is spreading in our system? Read this - An era of plastic overkill.
With their lax behaviour and total lack of concern for the plastic pollution that their business enables, 7-Eleven is, without a doubt, part of the problem. You, however, don’t have to be. It is, in fact, well within your power to reduce, if not put a stop to, the plastic pollution crisis that businesses such as 7-Eleven promote.
With pollution across the globe reaching critical levels, it is no longer business as usual for the planet!
iBan Plastic is fighting against big corporates like 7-Eleven that only seem to care about the numbers. So then, let us give them the numbers, only now, let these figures be against business policies that promote the use of plastic. Let us all come together for the sake and love of our planet. Sign the petition, share the article, educate your family and friends. Do all that you can. It is time now to be a part of the solution.