Burger King announced today that it has partnered with TerraCyle’s circular packaging service, Loop, to test out the use of resuable food and beverage containers.
Starting next year, select BKs in New York City, Portland (the announcement didn’t specify Maine or Oregon) and Tokyo, will give consumers the option of getting their sandwiches, sodas and coffee in the reusable containers and cups. Customers opting for the reusable packaging are charged an undisclosed deposit upon purchase that is refunded when the containers are returned to a collection system at the restaurant. From there the containers will be picked up by Loop, cleaned and sanitized and reused by Burger King.
If this sounds fast food news sounds familiar, that’s because McDonald’s announced a similar partnership with Loop last month to trial reusable cups in the U.K. next year.
Both of these trials are good news as fast food giants like Mickey D’s and the BK Lounge are both sources of a lot of single-use packaging waste. Their involvement in the battle against waste will be important, as my colleague, Jenn Martson recently wrote:
Whether you love big restaurant chains or fear they’ll be the only ones left after the dust from the restaurant industry upheaval settles, it’s worth acknowledging that they’re typically the ones with the deep enough pockets to invest in new forms of to-go containers.
For people who care about waste and recycling, it should be noted that Loop continues to expand its services. In addition to Burger King and McDonald’s, Loop is broadening its CPG shopping service across the U.S. and its parent company, TerraCycle, is working with Hive’s just-launched online market.
This reusable container partnership with Loop also reinforces Burger King’s sustainability commitments, which include having 100 percent of its customer packaging be sourced from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025, and recycling of customer packaging in 100 percent of restaurants in Canada and the U.S. by 2025.