Rice balls, or onigiri, are somewhat of a traditional classic in Japan, but their wide variety of fillings and delicious flavors have made them a reliable favorite snack of many at convenience stores. While they typically come packaged with a convenient opening system (although their wrapping has befuddled some recent Olympic reporters) this can very well lead to an excess of plastic waste.

Japanese convenience store FamilyMart has identified this as a growing concern, and so as part of their new SDG-driven "Famima's Eco Vision 2050" initiative, FamilyMart has announced a new thinner environmentally friendly wrapper for their omusubi rice ball series, with the goal of reducing approximately 70 tons of petroleum-based plastics per year.

FamilyMart will be celebrating its 40th year anniversary of opening in Japan in September, and has devised a list of sustainable long-term goals to hit by 2030 and 2050 that include addressing reduction of greenhouse gasses, food loss, and plastic waste. One of their first steps will be to reduce the amount of petroleum-based plastics by about 15% per unit compared to the conventional product by using thinner packaging film and biodegradable materials on their omusubi rice balls.

The initial release take place at approximately 16,600 FamilyMart stores nationwide, with the four following popular flavors.

Grilled salmon

Japanese tuna mayonnaise

Five ingredient rice with chicken and vegetables

Spicy cod roe and mayonnaise

By - Big Neko.