Burger King has become one of the first global fast-food chains to announce plans to test reusable to-go containers for both food and beverages using a closed-loop system to reduce waste amid growing concern about a world drowning in packaging waste.
The Miami-based burger chain said it will begin testing washable Whopper containers and cups that guests can return using the circular package service Loop. Those containers will be sanitised and returned to the restaurants where they can be used again and again, reducing the need for single-use packaging.
Loop is TerraCycle's consumer-facing operation, giving shoppers the opportunity to buy retail goods online that come in reusable containers that are returned, sanitised, and reused. Shoppers are given a tote bag where they can put the empty containers and schedule a pick up from their home or drop off at UPS sites.
Burger King guests that choose the reusable packaging will be charged a deposit that will be refunded once the container is returned through Loop.
The trial is set to start in 2021 in Burger King restaurants in New York City, Portland, and Tokyo, with more cities expected to be added later in the year, the company said.
In addition to the test of reusables, the company said it will source 100 percent of guest packaging from renewable, recycled or certified sources and that all restaurants will recycle guest packaging in Canada and the U.S. by 2025. The move is part of a larger companywide ‘Restaurant Brands for Good’ plan to reduce its environmental impact and foster sustainable production of packaging materials.