Top restaurant operator to ditch plastic cutlery

Japan's largest family restaurant chain, Skylark Holdings, says it plans to stop offering plastic cutlery from next year as part of a push to become more sustainable.

The operator of brands including Gusto and Jonathan's runs more than 3,000 stores nationwide. It says it will start phasing in wooden cutlery for takeout and delivery meals from next January. Skylark says that move alone will cut its plastic use next year by 86 tons from the 2020 level.

The chain's executives say they may also switch to paper takeout boxes. Their ultimate aim is to halve the amount of single-use plastic they use by 2026, compared with the 2020 level.

The decision may be motivated in part by a new law that targets large users of disposable plastic items. The legislation enacted in June requires firms to come up with ways to cut back.