Burger King To Pilot a Recycled Packaging Test

In an effort to reduce packaging waste, Burger King restaurants announced it will test a new reusable packaging in New York City, Portland, Ore. and Tokyo.

The brand, as part of a larger corporate sustainability strategy called Restaurant Brands for Good framework, has launched a partnership with packaging company TerraCycle’s circular packaging service, Loop, to pilot a closed-loop system with zero-waste packaging that can be safely cleaned and refilled to be reused.

Starting in 2021, select Burger King stores in the test cities will be among the first to implement the model. The brand said it expects more cities expected to be added in the months following the launch.

Participating restaurants will feature a collection system, in which guests can return the packaging to be safely cleaned through Loop and reused at Burger King restaurants. Those who opt for the reusable packaging are charged a deposit at the time of purchase, and when the packaging is returned, they receive a refund.

“Our partnership with Loop aligns with Burger King restaurants rigorous safety procedures around cleanliness and hygiene, all which have become even more pressing during the current pandemic,” the company said in a statement. Loop’s cleaning systems have been created to sanitize food containers and cups, meaning each will be hygienically cleaned and safe before each use.

“As part of our Restaurant Brands for Good plan, we’re investing in the development of sustainable packaging solutions that will help push the food service industry forward in reducing packaging waste,” said Matthew Banton, head of innovation and sustainability, Burger King Global. “The Loop system gives us the confidence in a reusable solution that meets our high safety standards, while also offering convenience for our guests on the go.”

“During COVID, we have seen the environmental impact of increased takeaway ordering which makes this initiative by Burger King all the more important,” said Tom Szaky, TerraCycle and Loop CEO. “This enables Burger King consumers to easily bring reusability into their daily lives, and whether they choose to eat-in or takeaway, they will be able to get some of their favorite food and drinks in a reusable container.”

Burger King said the Loop partnership is a part of its overall sustainability efforts, including a commitment source 100% guest packing from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025. The brand said it is also working on improved waste diversion, with a commitment to recycle guest packaging in 100% of restaurants in Canada and the US by 2025.

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