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New sealing lids on Nissin Cup Noodles to save 33 tons of plastic material annually

The new lid on a Nissin Cup Noodle product, with the "W Tab" lids at the bottom to reseal the product after hot water has been put in, is seen in this image provided by Nissin Food Holdings Co.
An example of the lid-closing seal style of Nissin Cup Noodle set to be phased out is seen in the city of Saitama on June 4, 2021. (Mainichi/Kenji Wada)

TOKYO -- Food giant Nissin Food Products Co. announced on June 4 that it will phase out lid-closing seals on its main line of noodles from this month, replacing them with new "W Tabs" which the firm anticipates will reduce its raw plastic material usage by 33 metric tons annually.

    The lid-closing seals are used to temporarily close the products again after hot water has been poured into them. Nissin Food Products says it is rolling out the new W Tabs in consideration for the environment, and that they will offer the same functionality as the previous seals.

    The company says it began selling Cup Noodles, one of its key products, in 1971, and this year marks the noodles' 50th anniversary. The lid-closing seal was reportedly introduced in September 1984. The coronavirus pandemic has meant more people are staying indoors and eating at home, and as a result of this and other factors, cup noodle products in Japan have seen their sales break records for four consecutive years.

    On June 3, the Nissin Cup Noodle official Twitter account tweeted: "Goodbye, all lid-closing seals. #Announcement 11 a.m., June 4, 2021." The post attracted a great deal of attention on social media, with responses like "but they were so convenient" among them.

    (Japanese original by Ayane Matsuyama, Business News Department)

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