Burger King is planning to test reusable containers starting next year as part of its efforts to reduce waste.
The trial is part of a partnership with TerraCycle’s zero-waste delivery platform, Loop. Customers can opt in for reusable packaging for menu items such as sandwiches, soft drinks and coffee. They can then return the reusable sandwich container or beverage cup to Burger King restaurants to be cleaned and reused.
But for those who participate, the program comes with a cost: Customers will be charged a small deposit upon purchase, and once the packaging is returned, they’ll receive a refund.
The reusable containers and cups will be introduced at select restaurants in New York, Portland and Tokyo. The fast food giant says it plans to add more cities following its first three locations afterward.
“During Covid, we have seen the environmental impact of increased takeaway ordering which makes this initiative by Burger King all the more important,” Tom Szaky, the founder and CEO of TerraCycle and Loop, said in a statement.
The program is a part of the company’s continuing sustainability efforts. In July, the fast food chain announced a version of its Whopper made from lemongrass-fed beef, which it said would cut methane emissions. Other commitments from the company include having 100% of its restaurants’ guest packaging come from renewable, recycle or certified sources, and recycling all guest packaging at its restaurants in the United States and Canada by 2025.
“[W]e’re investing in the development of sustainable packaging solutions that will help push the food service industry forward in reducing packaging waste,” Matthew Banton, head of innovation and sustainability at Burger King, said in the statment . “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.”
Previously, McDonald’s partnered with Loop for a reusable item. Last month, the two companies announced a collaboration for a new reusable cup across select restaurants in the United Kingdom to be rolled out next year.
More and more companies have been committing to sustainability in recent years as issues like climate change and environmental waste remain in the spotlight.